Jeff Withey was drafted 39th by Portland, ended up a King at the end of draft night and was then sent to New Orleans as apart of the Tyreke Evans sign and trade. Jeff Withey was someone who was added onto the trade to make up numbers and make the deal nicer for NOLA. Jeff had a very solid college career, played 4 years of College ball with the Kansas Jayhawks earning 2 Defensive player of the big 12. Withey was simply known as a defender but actually shown a lot of talent and promise in NOLA this year, with Withey adding Strength and weight to him that will help him A LOT (As i mention numerous times throught the article).
58 games played (4 starts)
11.8 mpg, 3.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 0.4 apg, 0.9 bpg, 0.3 spg
Season Averages PER 36:
10.0 ppg 7.9 rpg, 1.4 apg, 0.8 spg, 2.8 bpg
Withey had the 3rd best Block Rate in the entire league at 6.1, he was only behind the duo of Serge Ibaka and his won team mate Anthony Davis. This was something we knew Withey could do but in his last month Withey averaged just over 2 blocks a game getting 18 blocks in an 8 game span.
Withey’s rebounding number didn’t increase with extra minutes like you thought they would. In Jeff’s PER 36 it predicts him to average almost 8 rebounds but towards the end of the season Withey got more playing time. In April Withey played 8 games averaging 21 Minutes per game and 3.6 rebounds! Now obviously this is a small sample size but in all 9 games Jeff played between 20-29 minutes he averaged 26 minutes and 4.6 rebounds. Now this is something Jeff can improve on with added strength and maybe some verticality but this isn’t abnormal for a rookie center. When Jeff learns the ins and outs of the tricks you can use to get rebounds easier his numbers will go up. Basically experience and Strength means he will do better.
Now this isn’t truly terrible but definitely something Jeff has to work on is that he is only shooting .539% from within 3 feet of the rim. This co insides with the fact tha tJeff also gets blocked 11% of the time inside. This is something yet again strength and another year of experience will help him with, also playing with Greg Stiesma didn’t help him finish any better. I’m seeing a lot that can improve of gaining strengh here? hmm
Jeff has a lot of potential to be a Tyson Chandler esque player, who’s impact on offence is dunking and finishing around the rim but sole purpose for being on the court is for Defense and Rebounding. Comparing Jeff and Tyson at the age of 23 is Interesting (Bare in mind this is Chandlers 5th season in the league and was averagng 26 minutes on a playoff team)
Now if Withey could get his Rebound Numbers up he would be a great role player or even potential starting Center for the Pelicans going forward.
Jeff ranked 32nd in the league in defending the post, which for a rookie who was pretty weak is incredible. Hopefully an off season or two in the weight room will get Withey to even greater heights. Jeff had a very solid rookie year especially coming on at the end. Showing glimpses of unseen potential from a player who was dubbed to have a very low ceiling Withey came out of the season was the most enticing Center at the club. Hopefully after a solid off season Withey puts in we will get to see a more complete and more consistent Withey next year! i see a bright future for WIthey in the short term.