With the NBA Draft fast approaching, and the Early Entry List set, it's time to examine more in depth some of the players who could be available for each of the Pacers three picks. (I am operating under the assumption Dallas will be sending us their 2nd round pick this year, not next, to complete the Shawne Williams deal. June 1st is the final deadline for Dallas to decide.)
Obviously, the Pacers 1st Round pick is the most exciting and has the most potential for value. As we need a lot of improvement in all areas, I will be looking at players who should be available for all three picks. My plan is to post two profiles a day, for 2nd rounders, until the Draft Lottery on May 18th. After the team's first round position is finalized, I'll begin profiling 1st Rounders.
These profiles cover players I believe have some value to offer the Pacers next season and in the future. These profiles are not intended to advocate for one player over another, just examine their strengths and weaknesses, and discuss in some detail what they have to offer. For each profile I provided Ten Important Statistics to guide the discussion. When discussing how each player can help the Pacers I will try to specifically reference the team needs I identified in Setting the Table for the Pacers Summer. Here is who we will be looking at today:
Da'Sean Butler - SG/SF - 6'7" 205 lbs. - University of West Virginia
- Butler has good size, length and strength for an NBA wing.
- Butler is a very good jump shooter, whether spotting up, or coming off screens.
- He began his college career as an undersized power forward, so he has a very skilled post game for a wing player.
- He does a decent job drawing fouls, and is a very good free throw shooter.
- Butler uses his size and strength to his advantage as a defender.
- He has greatly improved his passing and court vision, while cutting down his turnovers.
- As anyone who watched the Big East or NCAA tournaments knows, he is an absolutely fearless player in the clutch.
- Some highlights:
- Butler's NCAA tournament ended with a catastrophic knee injury against Duke. He had surgery to repair his torn ACL, and I couldn't find a timetable for his return anywhere. It's up in the air as to whether he will be able to return to the player he once was.
- Even before his injury, there were concerns about Butler's speed and explosiveness. His lack of quickness was a vulnerability at the defensive end, and his lack of explosiveness near the basket made it unlikely he would be able to finish at the same rate in the NBA.
- He was an average penetrator at the college level, and will have to work hard on his ball handling skills to be able to utilize this ability in the NBA.
How he can help the Pacers -
- Drafting Butler is a big risk for any team. He certainly won't be able to take part in any workouts, so the Pacers would be drafting him on his college resume and any positive information they might glean from his doctors. This means the Pacers would have to hold a roster spot for a player who might never even make it onto the court. It's possible that he won't be healthy enough to participate in summer league or training camp, and might not be healthy enough to contribute until well into the NBA season.
- With great risk, comes great reward. His athleticism was already his weakness, so the knee injury is not taking away what made him great. The injury concerns have greatly driven down the value on someone who could be a terrific player. Before the knee he would have likely been drafted at the beginning of the 2nd Round, now there is a strong possibility he won't be drafted at all. For a team looking for maximum value, like the Pacers, Butler could end up being a huge steal.
- If he can return to pre-injury form, the Pacers would be getting a versatile back-up for their wing rotation. He is a fearless player, with terrific shot-making ability. He can give the Pacers bench some swagger, confidence and offensive pop; attributes that were certainly missing this season.
More Information -