CHARLESTON, W.Va. - There are two people figuring on Da'Sean Butler's name being called earlier than later in Thursday night's NBA Draft.
One is Richard Katz of Cincinnati. The other is Bob Huggins of well, you-know-where. Katz is Huggins' agent ... he is Butler's agent now, too.
Butler was back at the "scene of the crime" on Thursday, in Indianapolis. That's the city where the West Virginia star's college career ended with 8:59 left in a Final Four semifinal loss to Duke, his left knee torn to devil.
The Indiana Pacers were checking out Butler physically and mentally. Today, he moves on to Oklahoma City for more poking and prodding.
Butler also has had visits this week with San Antonio, Portland and the Los Angeles Clippers. Team doctors have checked out his surgically repaired knee at each stop.
During the NBA Draft Evaluation Camp last month in Chicago, the 6-foot-7 swingman met with eight clubs, including Miami and New Jersey. "Over one-third of the league teams have met with Da'Sean formally or informally," Katz said.
On Sunday at 9 a.m., "Outside the Lines" on ESPN2 will air a segment about Butler's rehabilitation and his aggressiveness in trying to keep his NBA Draft dream alive. WVU and Butler gave the network full access to the former Mountaineer's emotional and physical roller coaster ride.
In the TV piece, Katz, knowing Butler's good-guy persona from his own experiences and, in more depth, from Huggins, tells Butler about how to handle his earlier Chicago Draft Camp experience.
"What was your grade point average - 3.3 - you got to slip that in," Katz said. "Somehow, you got to get that in."
Katz laughed when told that by a reporter Thursday, but he said Butler's repaired NBA prospects are no joke.
"Absolutely, yes," Katz answered when asked if he thought Butler could be a first-round pick, despite the injury and knee reconstruction done by Dr. Lonnie Paulos (by the way, a former football player at Utah) at the Andrews Institute in Florida.
Butler's former coach at WVU did hedge a bit.
"I think Da' will be drafted, and there's an outside chance late in the first," said Huggins, who was in Charleston on Thursday for a fundraising appearance and first-pitch duties at Appalachian Power Park. "If not the first, then I'm sure he isn't going very far (down) in the second."
Huggins said Butler's rehab has been somewhat remarkable in its speed. Katz said that last week, the Mountaineers' 2,095-points scoring legend "was running in the pool and jogging outside the pool ... He's ahead of schedule. His surgeon said September or October (for Butler's return to basketball). He's ahead of that."