EuroCup standouts: Arnas Butkevicius

Apr 28, 2020 by Eurocupbasketball.com Print
EuroCup standouts: Arnas Butkevicius

Over the years, Rytas Vilnius has managed to find many of the next great Lithuanian small forwards to help the team to the next level. Ramunas Siskauskas played for the club from 1998 to 2004, before he became a Euroleague Basketball Legend. Simas Jasaitis, Mindaugas Lukauskis, Arturas Jomantas, Donatas Zavackas and more recently Eimantas Bendzius and Rokas Giedriatis have helped Rytas. The newest player on the list is Arnas Butkevicius, a talented, physical forward who does a little bit of everything on the court. He has proved that in the last few years, in which his numbers have only improved, and Butkevicius is now ready for bigger responsibilities.

Butkevicius has a high basketball IQ and that allows him to use his physical skills in the best ways. He has a great ability to block shots, especially chase-down blocks, but also reads plays well to go for steals. Despite his size (1.97 meters), Butkevicius is a very good offensive rebounder, whether attacking the basket or fighting for long boards away from the hoop. He also has very good penetration skills, highlighted by a very effective euro-step move, and Butkevicius finishes with a dunk whenever possible. After shooting 25.0% from downtown in the 2017-18 season and 34.6% a year later, Butkevicius made 57.7% of his three-point shots this season, adding another weapon to his all-around arsenal.

He made 15 of 26 shots from beyond the arc this season, which was not enough attempts to be counted among the statistical leaders, but his percentage would have otherwise led the EuroCup. Over the last two years, Butkevicius ranks third in total rebounds in the competition (164), tied with teammate Martynas Echodas and only trailing Jarrod Jones (187) and Zach Auguste (184). Butkevicius is also tied for sixth place in total steals (35), which shows his overall activity on defense. In his fifth season in the competition, Butkevicius is posting career-best numbers in scoring (8.1 ppg.) and assists (2.7 apg.), and being so effective from beyond the three-point line has turned him into a mismatch, as he has more space to drive to the basket and finish strong at the rim. At age 27, Butkevicius is set to enter the prime of his career as a EuroCup star.