Jared Butler offers a lot of upside on a two-way deal

Zavier Simpson #9 of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives past Jared Butler #13 of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Zavier Simpson #9 of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives past Jared Butler #13 of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

The Oklahoma City Thunder continues their week of transactions after the OKC Thunder signed Eugene Omoruyi to a standard NBA Deal, sliding Olivier Sarr to his two-way spot, then waived Omoruyi to convert Lindy Waters III to a standard NBA pact. That left the OKC Thunder with an open two-way deal again. Now, the roster is back to full capacity as the Thunder have signed Jared Butler to a two-way contract.

With a long history of NBA two-way deal success stories, the OKC Thunder are once again trying to strike gold with the addition of Jared Butler. From Deonte Burton to Aaron Wiggins, and most notably Lu Dort, the range of success stories of these two-way pacts has varied, but Sam Presti’s track record is better than most.

Presti is not only talented at finding value in the two-way market but with undervalued or utilized prospects. Aaron Wiggins was the 55th overall pick, Jaylin Williams and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl were both second-round picks, Kenrich Williams was a throw-in salary filler to the Steven Adams trade nearly out of the league, and Isaiah Joe was picked up days before the season started. All of them have made a significant impact on the Thunder this season.

The Oklahoma City Thunder have inked former Baylor standard Jared Butler to a two-way pact.

Jared Butler was an NBA Draft darling during the 2021 Draft class. Many, including myself, had a first-round grade on Butler before the NBA world let him slip to the 40th overall selection, a pick traded on draft night to the Utah Jazz.

At 22 years old, Butler found himself on the open market again before Sam Presti scooped him up today. So far in his NBA career, he has played in 42 NBA games, all of which took place during the 2021-22 season.

Last year in 42 games, he averaged four points, a rebound, and an assist per game, shooting nearly 32 percent from three and 40 percent from the floor. Per 36 minutes, those numbers leap to 16 points, four rebounds, six assists, about two steals, and almost a block per tilt.

Butler shot 60 percent at the rim a year ago, which ranks in the 60th percentile for his position, as he turned in 54 percent in the mid-range, good enough for the 96th percentile, and 75 percent in the long-mid-range which places him in the 98th percentile.

As a pick-and-roll ball handler, the 22-year-old posted elite numbers. He turned in 1.100 points per possession when you include passes in the PnR, which ranks in the 90th percentile, while also grading out to be good in isolation at 0.925 points per possession.

Butler’s main areas of concern are his three-point shooting and defense. While he grades out well against spot-up shooters, the former second-round pick struggles on that end of the floor at 6’3 195 pounds.

While this likely will not materialize into anything, especially not this season, this move is worth monitoring long-term. Signing Jared Butler now might be setting things in motion to have him on a two-way pact next season as well. That would give the once prized prospect a longer runway in the organization’s developmental system.

Next. Is Lu Dort a problem in the OKC Thunder offense?. dark