If the Knicks once more determine in opposition to pursuing Kyle Lowry, it could possibly be as a result of they’ve recognized his youthful model.
Baylor guard Jared Butler, who named Lowry first when requested for his NBA participant comparability, stated he met with the Knicks and 9 different groups Thursday on the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago. The Knicks’ longtime seek for a degree guard features a 2013 hiccup, once they backed out of a take care of the Raptors that might’ve landed Lowry for Iman Shumpert, Metta World Peace and a future first-rounder.
Eight years later, what may Butler provide for the Knicks?
“Off the court, intangibly, just a winning mentality, expecting to win, habits that are conducive to winning, for sure,” Butler stated. “On the court, a highly skilled guy that knows how to play. Not too many holes in my game. I can play defense, play on and off the ball, and shoot it at a high level.”
The 6-foot-3, 193-pound Butler additionally listed Jrue Holiday, Fred VanVleet and Seth Curry as gamers with comparable video games to his, however the late-blooming Lowry — a six-time All-Star starting in his ninth season — is essentially the most intriguing. The draft is about for July 29, only a few days earlier than Lowry, 35, and different free brokers hit the market on Aug. 2.
“My goal, if a team drafts me, is I want to fit their needs,” Butler stated. “Whatever they’re lacking, what can I do to plug that gap or hole in their organization? That’s what I plan on doing. Just be reliable and be an impactful player.”
The Knicks are out there for scoring and protection on the place. Butler, a 2021 First-Team All-American and the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player, stated he checks each boxes, “shooting especially” whether or not off the dribble or catch-and-release.
“It went great,” Butler stated of the assembly. “They just really tried to get to know me and pick my brain about certain situations in the game. Asked about specific things about my time at Baylor, what I learned from that, and how I can translate to their team.”
Projected as a late first-round decide, Butler, 20, ought to be on the board if the Knicks don’t package deal picks No. 19 and No. 21 to commerce up. He was not on the courtroom on the mix as a result of he’s ineligible to play or follow within the NBA till he’s cleared by a Fitness-to-Play panel of physicians.
“My original plan was always to come here and just do interviews with teams,” Butler stated. “It’s not something I didn’t expect. I genuinely believe God has a purpose for my life. Whatever that is, whatever outcome or circumstance I’m put in, I’m grateful for it. I’m sitting in that, being patient and trying not to worry.”
Butler declined to publicly talk about the “minor details” of his well being to keep away from any misinterpretations, however he reportedly was identified with a coronary heart situation in 2018 at Alabama earlier than transferring. He performed in all 94 doable video games over three years at Baylor, averaging profession highs throughout the board (16.7 factors, 4.8 assists, 2.9 rebounds and two steals per sport) and capturing 47.1 % from the sector (41.6 % from 3-point vary) final season.
In one two-minute span throughout his interview with reporters, Butler used some variation of the phrase “win” seven occasions. He mixed with projected lottery decide Davion Mitchell and fellow 2021 draft hopeful MaCio Teague to guide Baylor to its first nationwide championship this 12 months.
“I know how to be in big moments and how to collectively, as a team player, win,” Butler stated. “Being around other pros like Davion and MaCio is going to help me in the league. Tons of information and wisdom I got from winning.”
Butler stated he might be “working out” and taking group visits between now and the draft as he awaits medical clearance.
“I remember when I was like 4 years old saying to my dad, ‘I’m going to play basketball on TV one day,’” Butler stated. “When I first got to college, [the NBA] was always a dream, and I was getting closer and closer to it.”