Butler Standout to Pro Prospect: Rotnei Clarke’s NBA Chances

Dec 15 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Butler Bulldogs guard Rotnei Clarke (15) celebrates the victory over the Indiana Hoosiers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Butler defeats Indiana in overtime 88-86. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

There’s obviously one thing about Rotnei Clarke that makes him standout from the crowd when there’s a basketball game being played and that is the incredible accuracy on his three-point shot. It made him one of the most dangerous scorers in the Atlantic 10 last season and helped lead Butler to a large amount of time ranked in the top 25 and an appearance in the NCAA tournament. Now, how will that shot help him translate his skill-set to the NBA?

Measured at 5-11, his height is going to be a negative as GMs look at what he brings to the table, especially adding to the fact that he probably will not be a point guard at the next level. He did play some point for the Bulldogs this past season, but that had more to do with Butler’s lack of options at that position than his abilities.

If he wants a bigger role in the association, he will need to develop his point guard skills. It will be tough for him to find playing time as a 5-11 off-ball guard, having to handle much quicker, more athletic and longer players on the defensive end of the floor.

However, can his abilities now get him a spot on a roster? It’s a possibility. Clarke has been invited to work out with the Washington Wizards and Indiana Pacers and his name has floated around as a possible second round pick. Chances are, though, that he will not be selected in the draft, but will find a spot in the NBA Summer League.

From there, it will probably be less about his shot than the other factors of his game. Everyone knows he can shoot the basketball, but can he guard at the NBA level? Can he handle a back-up point guard role? Those are some of the questions Clarke is going to have to answer with his performance this summer.

Everybody in the NBA could use another shooter, but there are plenty of options out there. Clarke’s NBA chances will hinge upon whether or not the rest of his abilities will be up to par to add to his ability to shoot the basketball at a very high level.

Topics: Brad Stevens, Butler, Butler Basketball, Butler Bulldogs, Indiana Pacers, NBA, NBA Draft 2013, Rotnei Clarke, Washington Wizards

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