2021 NBA Draft mock #26: Denver Nuggets: Jared Butler
Butler was a consensus All-American and the leading scorer for Baylor this season. The 6’3 guard took a massive leap in his third NCAA season. He increased his efficiency and showed off an impressive two-way game. Butler averaged 16.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 2.0 steals in 30.3 minutes per game. He shot 47.1 percent from the field and 41.6 percent on his threes as he helped lead Baylor to an NCAA title.
The Nuggets are searching for answers in the backcourt as Jamal Murray recovers from a torn ACL. They have had success finding value in the mid-to-late first round in recent years. Butler could be another steal. He can pass, score, and make plays. Butler was also named to the Big 12 All-Defensive team. He competes hard on that end of the floor and averaged two steals per game.
The 20-year-old slips to the late first round because he is an undersized wing at 6’3 and 195 pounds. He will need to add mass to reach his full potential. Butler does not have elite athleticism, so he could struggle to guard some of the NBA’s best scorers.
The Denver Nuggets can use him as a catch and shoot floor spacer earlier in his career, but Jared Butler has plenty of potential to grow into a ball-handler and playmaker as he reaches his peak.
Next: No. 27