In the wake of the Mavericks and Nerlens Noel yet to reach an agreement, the team has added another big man for insurance. According to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports, Dallas has signed center Jeff Withey. After the news broke, Mavs insider Mike Fisher reported that the deal is a 2-year deal with a partial guarantee in year one.
The 27-year-old 7-footer is coming into his fifth season in the league after an accomplished career at the University of Kansas. During his time as a Jayhawk, Withey was an All-American and was named Co-National Defensive Player of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, while helping lead the team to the National Championship game in his senior season.
Following his college career, Withey was drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans with the 39th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. After spending his first two seasons with the Pelicans, Withey signed with the Utah Jazz, where he’s played the past two years. Over his career, the former Jayhawk has averaged 3.3 points per game while grabbing 2.7 rebounds and just under one block per game. Though these statistics may seem underwhelming, Withey’s production per 36 minutes are impressive. Last season with the Jazz, Withey’s statistics per 36 minutes were 12 points per game with 10 rebounds and 2.7 blocks.
So what does Jeff Withey mean for the Mavericks? Frankly, I’m not sure. While Noel and the Mavs remain at a standstill, I think we all expect a deal to get done; eventually. With the partial guarantee in year one of the deal, there’s no promise that Withey will remain with the Mavs post-training camp or preseason. But with his impressive advanced stats, maybe all he needs is more opportunity.
The one thing I do know about Jeff Withey? He’s not afraid to take charges; or attempting to.
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