Former Mountaineers offer insight on Carter’s draft day

MORGANTOWN — Da’Sean Butler has already been where Jevon Carter will find himself June 21.

The former WVU standout said his NBA draft day, in 2010, was filled with different emotions that suddenly bubbled to the surface and then made way for even more.

“It’s something you’ve been waiting for since you were a kid,” said Butler, who went to the Miami Heat as the 12th pick of the second round — No. 42 overall. “Growing up, I’d say since I was 11 or 12 years old, all I ever wanted to do was play in the NBA. The closer you get, you start to see so many dreams come true in the draft, and they’re young guys like you.

“When your name gets called, you start to think about your family and how much time they’ve put in to support you. You think about your coaches and your teammates. It’s what your entire life has built up to. It’s a crazy night.”

It will likely be a crazy night for Carter, too.

The WVU point guard spent four years in college making the transition from shooting guard to point guard, all while developing into the two-time national defensive player of the year.

He crisscrossed the country in May and June, attending the NBA Combine and holding private workouts for several NBA teams.

Carter’s name has been linked to the world champion Golden State Warriors as a team that could draft him.

Orlando, Philadelphia and even the Los Angeles Lakers also took a hard look at him in workouts.

It isn’t a guessing game on whether Carter will be selected. It’s a matter of when, and for which team.

Butler, a native of Newark, N.J., has his fingers crossed for one team.

“I hope he falls to my Knicks,” Butler said. “That would be great. The Knicks would be lucky to have him.”

The New York Knicks have the No. 9 pick in the first round and it is unlikely Carter will go that high. New York does also have the No. 37 overall pick, and there is a slight chance Carter could still be available then.

Many mock draft projections predicted Carter will be a late first-round pick — Philadelphia, at No. 26, is a strong possibility.

The first round consists of the first 30 selections. Casting a wider net, Carter is widely believed to be going somewhere between picks 25 and 40.

Butler and former WVU teammate John Flowers have spent several seasons following college playing professionally overseas.

Former WVU standout Kevin Jones played with the Cleveland Cavaliers for a season and also played professionally overseas.

All three worked out with Carter, at the WVU Practice Facility.

Having already lived the lives of a professional athlete, they see qualities in Carter that could pave the way to a nice career in the NBA.

“His work ethic is just amazing,” Flowers said. “That’s the thing I see with him. I think he can play a long time in the NBA. I think his work ethic is going to carry him far.”

“I would tell him not to put so much into where you go in the draft, but to just keep doing what he does when he gets his opportunity,” Jones added. “You can tell he’s already put in so much work. In games, he gets so many 50-50 balls and plays hard on defense. He just needs to show that he’s willing to keep doing those things.”

In his own assessment, Butler went a step farther on the WVU point guard.

“Reality-wise, I have no idea where he might go,” Butler said. “My personal opinion is that there isn’t a guard in his class that wants to go up against him. There isn’t a guard in his class that works as hard as he does.

“There are guards out there who may be strong, but they don’t do all the things Jevon does. There may be guards who are great offensive players, but they don’t defend like he does. To me, Jevon stands out, because of that. When you see the leaps in assists that he had his senior year, there just aren’t that many guards out there that have the all-around game that Jevon has.”

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