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Jared Butler Declares for 2021 NBA Draft After Leading Baylor to National Title

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 31, 2021

Brett Wilhelm/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Baylor star Jared Butler declared for the 2021 NBA draft.

Butler doesn't appear to be leaving the door open for a return, saying he's "100 percent prepared for and committed to the next step—the NBA!"

The 6'3" guard averaged 16.7 points and 4.8 assists as he helped lead the Bears to a national championship in 2021.

Butler could've stayed and helped Baylor in pursuit of a repeat. He probably couldn't have helped his NBA draft stock too much with another year on campus, though.

In his most recent big board, Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman ranked Butler as the 19th-best player overall. He also projected the Bears guard to go 17th to the Golden State Warriors in his most recent mock draft.

"Butler swayed scouts this year by improving his shooting, playmaking and defense while leading Baylor to a national championship," Wasserman wrote. "He comes off as an easy fit anywhere based on his ball-handling for creation and convincing spot-up three-ball."

In addition to his role in Baylor's team success, Butler helped himself by improving his offensive efficiency. As a sophomore, he shot 42.1 percent from the field and 38.1 percent from beyond the arc. Those numbers were 47.1 percent and 41.6 percent, respectively, during his junior campaign.

Baylor head coach Scott Drew is potentially looking an at uphill climb toward the team's title defense. Following Sunday's news, Drew might have to replace four of his top five scorers (Butler, MaCio Teague, Davion Mitchell and Matthew Mayer) along with leading rebounder Mark Vital.

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The Bears signed 5-star small forward Kendall Brown and 4-star recruits Langston Love and Jeremy Sochan, per 247Sports. James Akinjo also joined from Arizona, though it remains unclear when he'll be eligible to play after having already transferred once during his collegiate career.

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