West Virginia star forward Da’Sean Butler tore his ACL during West Virginia’s loss to Duke in the Final Four. That’s typically a bad thing for your draft prospects.
It seems there’s going to be a litany of picks coming off injuries during the draft, which could make it difficult for teams to get a read on them, and forcing many of them to lower spots based simply on a lack of knowledge.
Injuries like Butler’s force teams to make evaluations on players without full workouts. While scouting departments and film will tell them the majority, there’s still a comfort in seeing what the boy can or can’t do. Likewise, it presents the uneasy question of if this is an injury that touches off more problems for the player.
This is where the importance of the D-League comes into play. Were the D-League better developed to manage injuries, Butler could be drafted, sent down to an affiliate, and eased into play. That long-term approach would help Butler get drafted, since he clearly has quite a bit of skill, even if Draft Express is right and his ceiling is a second rounder.
Instead, Butler will have to hope a team is willing to take a chance on him despite a significant injury or risk, not being drafted at all.
And yet he still has a better chance than any player in the championship game, save for Gordon Hayward of Butler, a virtual lock to follow in the footsteps of such great players as Travis Diener and Joe Alexander.