With their big men falling like flies, the Nuggets signed Brian Butch from the NBA D-League team the Bakersfield Jam. Marc Spears broke the story on ESPN early Monday morning.
Butch, a 6-foot-11 center, had been averaging 17.7 points and 11.9 rebounds for the Jam this season. It was originally reported earlier this month that the Nuggets were leaning towards adding Brian Cook, but it sounded as if their interest for the sharp-shooting power forward wavered as they started struggling down the stretch and especially when Chris ‘The Birdman’ Andersen went down with an injury.
However Butch, whose nickname is ‘Polar Bear’, looks to be only a slightly bigger version of Cook. The 25-year-old has a good frame and really long arms and the scouting reports on the former Wisconsin star is he is a good passer and hard worker. He also has a reliable outside shot, which will be his biggest asset in the pros. While he has improved his rebounding in the D-League, he still struggles on defense which is arguably the Nuggets biggest need. He seems to get lost in pick and rolls, which is ironic because he seems to be most valuable in the NBA as a pick-and-pop shooter.
It would be hard to see Butch seeing quality playing time in the final stretch of games, but who knows with the way Adrian Dantley manages his rotation.
The former Badger was named the NBA D-League MVP this last year after scoring 18 points and pulling down a game-high 13 boards. Butch had a solid college career, but an unspectacular one. He helped the Badgers advance to the Sweet Sixteen, but went undrafted in the 2008 Draft. However, he developed his game during his days in the NBA D-League, especially on the glass.
Butch does have a few videos on Youtube, one of him dislocating his elbow, another of him banking in a jump shot and how can you not watch his commercial for Pep’s Pizza. And you can read his blog ‘Jump Around’ for Big Ten here.