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John Butler gaining traction in NBA Draft process as combine nears

Butler's performance at the NBA Combine will dictate whether he stays in the draft or returns to Florida State.

Since 2016, Florida State Basketball has produced 10 NBA Draft picks.

Four of those 10 have heard their names called in the lottery, including last year’s No. 4 overall selection by the Toronto Raptors and 2022 Rookie of the Year, Scottie Barnes.

READ MORE: Former Florida State wide receiver transferring to fellow ACC program

The 2022 NBA Draft isn’t shaping up for another Florida State lottery pick, but the Seminoles could add to their list of draft picks with John Butler.

Butler entered his name in the NBA Draft while retaining his college eligibility on April 27.

In his one season in Tallahassee, Butler averaged 5.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game.

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Butler scored a career-high 16 points against Notre Dame on March 2. In the 74-70 win, he shot 4-of-5 from the 3-point line and added eight rebounds and four blocks.

For NBA scouts looking for high and untapped potential, look no further than Butler.

As a freshman, the 7-foot-1 prospect displayed a diverse skillset in 31 games. At his size, Butler operated as a ball-handler, defended multiple positions and shot consistently (39%) from the 3-point line. 

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READ MORE: Former Florida State tight end transfers to FAMU

During a workout in New York City earlier this month, Butler left an impression on ESPN NBA Draft analyst Jonathan Givony.

As the NBA moves away from the traditional frontcourt players who operate solely in the post, Butler projects as a stretch big who is comfortable on the perimeter. Specifically, in pick-and-roll scenarios through “pops” where he can catch-and-shoot. His ball-handling also makes him a threat leading transitions and fastbreaks.

The 2022 NBA Draft combine is May 16-22, where Butler will receive official measurements and testing while having the opportunity to participate in live scrimmages.

Butler has until June 13 to notify the NBA of his draft decision, but in order to keep his college eligibility, he has to withdraw by June 1. 

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If Butler returns to Florida State, his experience in the draft process could help his future draft stock and possibly solidify him as a first-round prospect in 2023. 

Stick with NoleGameday for coverage of Florida State basketball throughout the offseason.

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