Baylor guard Jared Butler has been referred to a Fitness to Play panel by the NBA, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that Butler won’t be able to play or practice in the league until he’s cleared. In the short term, he’s also unable to participate in on-court elements of the pre-draft process, though he can still meet with teams and conduct off-court activities (Twitter link).
While it’s unclear what aspect of Butler’s medicals caught the NBA’s attention, the league’s Fitness to Play panels typically deal with cardiac illnesses or conditions, or issues related to blood clots and other blood disorders. Hopefully this setback is just a temporary one for precautionary reasons and Butler is cleared to get back on the court soon.
Here are a few more draft-related updates:
- Tennessee shooting guard Keon Johnson set a new record at this week’s draft combine with a 48-inch vertical leap, per the league (video link). A projected lottery pick, Johnson is considered one of the most athletic and explosive players in this year’s draft class.
- Johnson is one of 10 players that Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee identifies as possible targets for the Kings with the No. 9 overall pick. Elsewhere in the back half of the lottery, William Guillory of The Athletic names five candidates for the Pelicans at No. 10, while Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News considers the Spurs‘ options at No. 12.
- Jeremy Woo of SI.com (Twitter link) hears that Day’Ron Sharpe of North Carolina has withdrawn from the draft combine, pulling out of team interviews and not getting his measurements taken. Sharpe, ranked 31st overall by ESPN, is still expected to remain in this year’s draft pool, so his motivations for withdrawing from the combine are unclear.
- In the wake of this week’s lottery results, Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Insider link), Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, and Sam Vecenie of The Athletic are among the draft experts who have published new 2021 mock drafts.