Baylor guard Jared Butler is now a member of the Utah Jazz, after he was taken No. 40 overall in the second round of the 2021 NBA Draft on Thursday night.
Butler had been considered a first-round pick throughout the draft process, and when he left Baylor he waited until the final day of the declaration period before throwing his hat in the ring. He also wasn’t able to actively participate in the NBA Scouting Combine until he received clearance for a heart condition. But his name wasn’t called in the first round.
Butler has one of the best 3-point shots in the Draft, and when combined with his ball-handling skills and defense, can be a backup point guard or shooting guard immediately, and perhaps a starter by the end of his first season in the NBA.
Butler was named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Tournament after the Bears defeated Gonzaga to win the program’s first national championship. Butler saved his best game of the Tournament for the title game, as he scored 22 points and 7 rebounds against the Bulldogs.
Butler, a 6-foot-3 guard, averaged 16.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.0 steals per game last season. Butler was named a First-Team All-American. He also earned All-Big 12 Player of the Year Honors, selection to the All-Big 12 Defensive Team and All-Big 12 First Team.
Butler was one of the most-watched players in the country and the Big 12 last season. In his third season in Waco, he helped lead the Bears to a No. 2 national ranking for most of the season, a year after helping the Bears reach the No. 1 national ranking for most of January and February of 2020.
The Bears won their first Big 12 regular-season title this season and their first conference title of any kind since 1950.
Butler earned All-Big 12 honors in 2019-20, as he was named to the All-Big 12 First Team.
For his Baylor career, Butler finished with averages of 14.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, while shooting 47 percent from the field and 41 percent from the 3-point line. He started his career as a late transfer to the program before the 2018-19 season, as he actually enrolled at Alabama before deciding to leave for the Bears.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
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