The Butler Did It: John Butler Prospect Watch

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Photo credit: FloridaState.Rivals.com (Logan Stanford)

The San Antonio Spurs are in desperate need of some size, or at least some height. That may come in handy when the Spurs are making a second round selection if they go with Florida State big man John Butler. The near 7-foot-1 and 174-pound big man only spent one season at FSU, but coach Leonard Hamilton’s system has proven to work out well in the league. Devin Vassell turned out alright and Patrick Williams was a top-5 pick in the system.

Butler might have some bizarre shooting numbers (as you’ll see below), but he is a great shooter from outside and could be a nice boost on offense. However, he is definitely going to have to gain a ton of weight to be effective as a post defender or any kind of defender inside the perimeter. But here are those numbers from his lone season at FSU while playing 19 minutes a game.

  • 5.9 PPG, 1.2 BPG, 0.7 APG, 3.2 RPG, 0.4 SPG
  • 41.6 FG%, 39.3 3P%, 44.0 FT%
  • 13.3 PER, 101.0 ORtg, 105.1 DRtg

The former Seminole played a much larger role on defense than he did offense this year. Some of that can be attributed to how many minutes he played this year — a result of the FSU system — and some of it is just that he was not ready to take on a large offensive load. Why he was so effective on defense has to do with his length (of course), his great timing, and his mobility at his size. His lack of strength will be the greatest limiting and swing factor for him going forward.

He’s gotten comparisons as a longer and more athletic Channing Frye. That might be Butler’s ceiling here and wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen, especially if he becomes an undrafted free agent. He’s going to struggle with defending the post and he won’t be able to play in there on offense either. Selecting him means to bank on the shot developing and becoming more than just a set shot. He’s also going to need a little more courage when it comes to getting to the rim and the free throw line.

Butler could be a second round pick, but it seems just as likely that he will go undrafted because of his rail-thin frame and rawness as a player. He’s early in his development, but has shown the ability to play on the perimeter and protect the rim a bit. He could immediately be a set shooter and has shown some fluidity in his game. He would definitely end up in Austin to start his career.

 

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