Previously, we established that to get to the NBA, a player must do one of two things: average a double-double performance each evening or get near to a double-double average and be a standout player.
This week, we'll add a player to the list who does both.
Brian Butch (6' 11", 230 lbs.) - Bakersfield Jam - C
After leaving Wisconsin as a member of the All-Big Ten First Team, Butch set his sights on getting to The Association. He was undrafted in the 2008 NBA Draft and went overseas to craft his game. After playing in China, Germany, and Greece for a year, he was picked up by the Bakersfield Jam.
Butch had a great 2009-2010 season and was named the D-League All-Star Game MVP. His 17.7 points and 12 rebounds per game effort earned him a spot to the Denver Nuggets' Summer League team. He suffered a season ending injury and sat out a year to recover.
That next year, he came back strong and averaged a near double-double performance: 15.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. This earned him an invite to the New Orleans Hornets camp, but yet another injury (one to his knee, this time) cut that opportunity short as well.
Prior to this season, Butch participated in the Utah Jazz training camp, but was later waived. This set back has not stopped him from logging a double-double in five out of the eight games played so far with the Jam. He struggled early on to hit mid-range shots, but has still been shooting 45% from the floor in his last 5 games. He averages 11.8 points and 11.3 rebounds in 28 minutes played per game.
What makes him a standout prospect is his intriguing skill set. He shoots 36% three-point land, a skill that can stretch defenses and pull opposing big men away from the basket.
Averaging a double-double performance and showing talent behind the 3-point arc should get the attention of NBA teams in need of a big man who can also score from the perimeter.
With the addition of Brian Butch to the Ridiculous Upside prospect list, we are back up to 10 players. These are the guys who are most likely to get a call-up this season. In many cases, this list differs from the official NBA D-League Prospect list. Over the course of the next few weeks, we'll look at the key differences between the two lists and why certain selection were made.
RIDICULOUS UPSIDE'S D-LEAGE PROSPECT LIST