Draft Notes: Butler, Duarte, Knicks, Rockets

Hoops Rumors

Baylor guard Jared Butler has received medical clearance from the NBA’s Fitness to Play panel, writes Shams Charania of The Athletic. Butler, the Most Outstanding Player in this year’s Final Four, had been considered a possible mid first-round pick when the draft process began, but he was sidelined in June due to a heart condition.

Butler hasn’t been permitted to do anything on the court for the past three weeks, but he was still allowed to meet with teams and go through off-court activities such as interviews and medical exams. He met this week with executives from the Kings, who hold the ninth and 39th picks in the draft.

“I am fully healthy and cleared to play in the NBA!” Butler wrote on Twitter“Out of an abundance of care, the NBA is incredibly thorough in vetting the health of every player during the pre-Draft process and throughout our careers. I am forever grateful that their comprehensive and strict health analysis has unanimously confirmed my fitness to play in the NBA. Now, my focus is entirely on the Draft and working daily to prepare myself to fulfill my lifelong dream !!”

There’s more draft news to pass along:

  • Oregon’s Chris Duarte was happy with the results of Friday’s workout for the Warriors, per James Crepea of The Oregonian. Duarte, who is expected to be selected around the middle of the first round, has also visited the Wizards, Hornets, Thunder, Pelicans and Spurs. “It went great,” Duarte said of Friday’s session. “I really love it, enjoying this time here.”
  • Butler and Duarte may be possibilities for the Knicks if they hold onto the 19th and 21st picks, ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla tells Steve Serby of The New York Post. Fraschilla also mentions Kentucky center Isaiah Jackson and international prospect Usman Garuba.
  • The Rockets‘ interest in trading up for the No. 1 pick is legitimate, but they don’t have any really strong future draft choices to offer the PistonsZach Harper of the Athletic writes in his latest mock draft. Harper expects Detroit to hang on to the No. 1 selection and take Cade Cunningham, leaving Houston to decide between keeping the No. 2 choice or trading down for extra assets. Jalen Green is the expected pick, but Harper cites “people within the Rockets’ decision-making process” who are in favor of drafting Jalen Suggs.

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