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SBN NBA Mock Draft: Pacers take Jared Butler with 13th pick

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After initially swinging for the fences with the mock pick, the mock Pacers went with a solid pick that fills a need.

Baylor v Gonzaga Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

With the 13th pick in the SB Nation NBA Mock Draft, the Pacers select Jared Butler, guard from Baylor.

Easy enough for the Pacers to fill a need with a future point guard with good size and skill at both ends of the floor, regardless of which players return from last season. Certainly, Butler would give the Pacers an option to quickly fill T.J. McConnell’s role should a bidding role for the steals machine push McConnell out of the Pacers preferred price range.

To be honest, Butler wasn’t the first choice for this mock, so let me first explain how we got here. For starters, I feel like the Pacers are more likely to use the 13th pick to move up, down or out of the draft as part of a bigger deal. However, if they don’t make any other moves and use the pick, the playing rotation would already be clogged so I was hunting for a potential Nikola Jokic or Giannis Antetokounmpo home run and took a home run swing on 18 year-old forward Roko Prkacin from Croatia.

Prkacin’s home run ceiling turned into a whiff the next day when he withdrew from the draft. So, I snapped up Butler who was both available and fills a need for the Pacers. Plus, he had just been cleared to at least take part in on-court activity before the draft.

Oh, yeah, Butler reportedly has a heart condition which is a concern but didn’t hold him back at Baylor. The Pacers selecting an injury risk is on brand, so Butler should fit in from that standpoint.

Butler was thrilling for Baylor as he teamed up with Davion Mitchell to guide the Bears to a National Championship. His consistent, gutty level of play and size at 6’3 makes Jrue Holiday a pretty close comp.

Butler shot more than six three-pointers per game last season and made over 41 percent from behind the arc, while also shooting 78 percent from the free throw line. Baylor was always in attack mode at both ends of the floor, which accounts for his turnover rate (3.4 per game) which is a negative stat that stands out.

The poise under pressure and all-around ability to impact the game and lead a high-performing team make Butler a safe and valuable pick from a basketball standpoint with the assumption he will remain healthy and able to play for many years to come.

Were I to pick from the options that were taken before Roko bailed, Jared Springer, Trey Murphey III and Sharife Cooper would have also been under strong consideration. Check out the full SBN NBA Mock Draft and let me know who you would have taken with the 13th pick.