Spurs free agency: San Antonio tied to best PG available

Jared Butler, San Antonio Spurs
Jared Butler, San Antonio Spurs / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages

Somehow, someway, the San Antonio Spurs still rank in the top five in the league in assists per game. The team is nowhere near being a top-five offensive team, although they move the ball better than most, even without multiple healthy point guards. 

Tre Jones has done a great job adjusting to the role of full-time starter now that Dejounte Murray has been traded away, although with Blake Wesley and Malakai Branham not fully healthy, the Spurs could find a backup point guard who fits the rebuilding schedule and would round out the roster. One name that has come up in recent reports is Jared Butler. The former Baylor standout was a projected first-round pick in the 2021 NBA Draft but slid down the draft boards thanks to a heart issue, which has since been resolved.

Jared Butler is the ideal backup point guard for the Spurs

At just 22 years old, Butler is a great fit with the young core in terms of age, but thanks to three productive seasons with Baylor and a national championship, he brings a “been here before” attitude to any squad. After being drafted 40th by Utah in 2021, Butler only got to play in 42 games behind Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley, and Jordan Clarkson. In limited minutes, he didn’t get to show off and show out, but he did manage to score 21 points and dish out seven assists in a game against the Clippers. 

Butler split last season between the Utah Jazz and the G-League Salt Lake City Stars, and this season has been playing for the Grand Rapids Gold. In 15 G-League games over two seasons, Butler has averaged 21 points, 4.5 assists, and 1.5 steals. Oh, and he is also shooting 43% from deep on seven attempts per game.

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I’ve been high on Butler for a while now, and while I know better than to say that his G-League success would immediately translate back into the NBA, he fills a position with which the Spurs are limited, and he provides a much-needed defensive boost. If the Spurs want to take a low-risk, high-reward gamble on a much-needed player who fits the timeline, Butler is clearly the guy.