The mock drafts are coming at a fast and furious pace all around the net leading up the NBA Draft, though none as quickly as the SB Nation collaborative effort. Bloggers for each team have been revealing their picks one per hour over the last couple of days!
One of the Nets' biggest needs is a small forward, as well as someone who can penetrate and get to the rim.
With Anthony Morrow spacing the floor, and Deron Williams running the offense, Jimmy Butler is the perfect option for this team. A solid defender, hard worker, and impressive young man, Butler ranked third in the Big East in free throws attempted per game this year, as well as 2nd last year. The man knows how to get to the line, and the Nets have been missing someone who can attack the rim from the perimeter.
Travis Leslie also fit the bill, but Butler has maturity and readiness to play over Leslie, who is a little bit of a project. We also like Tyler Honeycutt's defensive potential, but we're choosing to go with the polished offensive player in order to help convince Deron Williams to stick around.
There are few prospects that have been talked about more than Butler this week, though much of it has to do with his story away from the court. ESPN's Chad Ford spoke with the Marquette star about how he overcame being kicked out of his house at the age of 13 to now being on the verge of signing an NBA contract.
While he is slightly being overvalued all of a sudden due to his story, don't be fooled: this kid can play. Butler can hurt you inside and out while never afraid to hit the glass while doing the dirty work.
Plus, any team like the Nets looking for players that can deal with a demanding coach, you know that Butler isn't going to wilt under the pressure of being a pro.
You'd like him to have a bigger wingspan (6-8) so he could have more success guarding NBA power forwards and he'll never be the most athletic player on the floor.
More explosive options like Justin Harper and JaJuan Johnson are probably more likely in this scenario, but it would be hard to argue if GM Billy King decided to call Butler's name on Thursday night.