In about twelve hours, we'll learn where Marquette's Jimmy Butler will continue his basketball career. It seems a virtual certainty that Jimmy is going to hear his name called at some point during tonight's NBA Draft; the question is where Jimmy's headed. Here's the latest scuttlebutt as we approach go time:
In iteration 7.0 of his much-ballyhooed NBA mock draft, ESPN's Chad Ford has the Boston Celtics -- and former Marquette guard Doc Rivers -- selecting Jimmy with the 25th pick of the first round. (That's an Insider story, so I'm not going to quote from it. You'll have to trust me on that one.)
SBN's NBA bloggers are conducting a mock draft of their own, and the New Jersey Nets-devoted site, NetsDaily, snatched Jimmy up with the 27th pick in the first round:
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.
On ESPN's TrueHoop blog, Peter Newmann and Dean Oliver list JMFB as one of the draft's best bargains:
Butler, a senior, is a versatile wing player who doesn't make a lot of mistakes and can do the understated things a coach looks for -- play defense, hit the opportunistic shot and grab more rebounds than his opponent.
His workouts, by virtually all accounts, have been stellar. He won the MVP award at the Portsmouth Invitational. He impressed scouts with a strong performance at the Chicago pre-draft combine. He's drawn praise from virtually every NBA scout and GM who has worked him out. But it's been the interview process that has created the most buzz.
NBC's ProBasketballTalk blog tabs Jimmy as one of the players you hope falls to your team in the second round -- and at this point, it might save space to list all the sites that don't list JMFB as one of the Draft's potential steals:
He actually has a little Landry Fields in him - one of those guys who can do a little bit of everything well. The key is he can defend so that should get him minutes.
SI.com's Seth Davis talked to an NBA scout about forty of the potential draftees, and the scout paid the nicest compliment possible when asked about Butler:
Typical Marquette guy.
Last but not least: the Journal Sentinel's Todd Rosiak asked Jimmy about his plans for watching the Draft:
Jimmy Butler's plans? They're about as low-key as the former Marquette Golden Eagles forward is himself.
"I think we're going to go to Chuck E. Cheese so my brother can rip around and play," he said from Portland, Ore., last week, where he was nearing the end of a cross-country tour that will have seen him work out for 14 NBA teams at its conclusion.