Thursday, July 4, 2013

Report: Portland trades rookie Jeff Withey to New Orleans

Kansas center Jeff Withey looks for a shot as Kentucky forward Anthony Davis reaches in to defend during the first half of the national championship on Monday, April 2, 2012 in New Orleans.

Kansas center Jeff Withey looks for a shot as Kentucky forward Anthony Davis reaches in to defend during the first half of the national championship on Monday, April 2, 2012 in New Orleans.


Former Kansas University center Jeff Withey, who was a second-round pick of the Portland Trail Blazers in last week’s NBA draft, has been traded to the New Orleans Pelicans, various NBA writers reported Thursday.

Seven-footer Withey is part of a three-team transaction that sends Sacramento’s Tyreke Evans to New Orleans as part of a sign and trade agreement. Evans will earn $44 million over four years in New Orleans.

The Pelicans sent guard Greivis Vasquez to the Kings and center Robin Lopez and Terrel Harris to Portland. Portland sent Withey to the Pelicans and a future second-round draft pick to Sacramento. Trades, such as the Blazers' separate deal for ex-KU forward Thomas Robinson, can’t be confirmed until July 10 in accordance with NBA rules.

Playing time is apparently available for Withey in New Orleans.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune’s Jimmy Smith writes that “the trade of Lopez leaves a huge void on the Pelicans roster at the moment because New Orleans does not have a true center. Swingman Jason Smith can play in the post, but second-year pro Anthony Davis lacks the girth to play the position on a nightly basis.”

Michael McNamara of, an ESPN-affiliated Pelicans blog, praises the pickup of Withey.

“Withey was the 39th pick of the 2013 NBA draft, but he was a guy that was projected to go top-25 in nearly every mock draft. Personally, I had him ranked 17th on my big board,” McNamara writes. “Like Lopez, he is a true 7-footer and because of his college experience, defensive IQ, and ability to finish at the rim, he is one of the few guys from the draft that is ready to play right now. While nobody expects Withey to play the minutes that Robin Lopez got last season, the conventional wisdom centers around the idea that Anthony Davis and Jason Smith will get more minutes at center, meaning the Pelicans just need a guy who can give them 12-15 (minutes). Jeff Withey can do that. ... Basically, Withey runs the baseline on offense, finishes everything, and makes shots at the rim. Not a ton of upside here, but when you consider what the Pelicans needed and Withey’s price tag, you can argue that he is exactly what they were looking for.”

C.J. Henry playing baseball: Former KU guard C.J. Henry, the older brother of former KU guard Xavier Henry, has made a return to professional baseball. Henry, a former first-round pick of the New York Yankees, who played basketball at KU during the 2009-10 season, is hitting .322 with two home runs and 20 RBIs in 40 games for Evansville (Ind.) of the Independent Frontier League. Henry, 27, who is playing the outfield, has seven stolen bases.

“I am kind of surprised to be playing as well as I am,” Henry told USA Today. “It has clicked a little bit sooner than I thought it would. I hadn’t played baseball for more than four years. That would be a huge concern for anybody. When you take that much time off, you expect your skills to decline. I was just looking for an opportunity to play.”

Xavier Henry headed to the NBA after one season at KU, while C.J. transferred to Southern Nazarene in Bethany, Okla., where he averaged 13.0 ppg in his only season at the school.

Of his stint at KU, C.J. said: “We had six or seven players on that team who are currently in the NBA. Finding playing time on that team wasn’t easy. Everybody on that team loved each other and we competed every day in practice. I had a great time.”

Frontier League players make between $600 and $1,600 per month. USA Today reports that since the league was founded in 1993, at least 24 players from the league have reached the majors.

“When it happen, if it happens, I am just out here trying to get better every day,” Henry said. “It will happen when it is supposed to.”

Xavier Henry, meanwhile, is a 22-year-old NBA free agent whose option was not picked up by New Orleans for next season. He has been hampered by knee and ankle problems during his three years in the NBA.

“In his favor, Henry is just 22 years old and he’s continuing to learn the NBA game,” writes Smith of the Times-Picayune in an article published in May. “But working against him, at least in New Orleans, is he hasn’t had multiple outings during which he distinguished himself and provided some separation that could entice the Pelicans to offer him another contract.

“And there’s the question of his definitive position. At, a statistical clearing house, the site listed Henry as a shooting guard in his first two season, but a small forward last season. It is this type of indecision that hangs over Henry’s uncertain future in New Orleans,” Smith added.


TheBoHawk 7 years, 3 months ago

Weeellp.. so much for a productive NBA career.... back to despising the Portland Trashsacks as well...under-achiever capital of the US... Good luck Jeff, hopefully you'll get traded out of the bowl just as quickly as you got traded in..... at least Ben got a decent PG out of the deal.

VancouverHawk 7 years, 3 months ago

I think this could be good for both Ben and Jeff- Ben gets a good point guard and Jeff will likely get some playing time. True: neither one of these teams looks to be contenders any time soon but I don't think you can underestimate significant playing time and exposure early in ones career.

Jesse Johnson 7 years, 3 months ago

Not to mention that the loss of Tyreke Evans will open up a lot of PT for Ben to collect right away.

David Dohrmann 7 years, 3 months ago

Driving past the Rose Garden today my we wondered aloud to each other just when Jeff would be in town. I suggested that maybe he already was … perhaps working out with coaches. Wrong, unfortunately. We got used to our kids bringing home boyfriends and girlfriends, getting attached to them, and then suddenly the break-up, so I guess we can get used to Jayhawks leaving, some of them even before they arrive! Good luck, in any case, to Jeff, though we don't think he'll need it, because he's got a chance to become a very good player In the League, IMHO.

KJD 7 years, 3 months ago

At least you can become reacquainted with TRob – especially if Freeland remains slow to develop an NBA game.

Jack Jones 7 years, 3 months ago

Pacific Ocean v/s Gulf of Mexico ~ NOT!!! Especially for a "beach bum" type of guy. Hopefully, the opportunity for development and playing time will compensate. If not, BOO on Portland ~ although, upon reflection ~ it is a sorry franchise.

Ludwig Supraphonic 7 years, 3 months ago

Neither is a good environment for a beach bum. Oregon ice cold water and rocky shoreline isn't an upgrade.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 3 months ago

Maybe he can catch a ride out of Coos Bay. And Yes, the water is COLD!

Steve Reigle 7 years, 3 months ago

Portland is an hour and a half drive from the ocean. New Orleans is far closer to some great beaches on the Gulf. By the way, it's Washington with the rocky, cold beaches. Oregon has some great sand beaches. But those beaches are not nearly as close as he'll have in New Orleans. Portland itself has the Columbia and Willamette rivers but there is not much there in the way of a beach. In 2011 we spent several months touring the coasts of northern California, Oregon and Washington.

Ludwig Supraphonic 7 years, 3 months ago

Used to live in Oregon. Sunless, cold, and rocky for most of the year on the coast.

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years, 3 months ago

Why do I even watch the draft? Every player gets traded 15 times before the season starts!

741hawk 7 years, 3 months ago

Exactly why I don't bother to watch. Alpherse . . . you are slow on the pick-up on this one.

Ian Emerson 7 years, 3 months ago

^ haha it seems like that every year. Maybe because that how it is every year

KJD 7 years, 3 months ago

New Orleans is thin overall in the front court, not just at Center.

New Orleans has Anthony Davis listed as a Power Forward on ESPN. With Robin Lopez gone, their starting center last year obviously, this leaves only two other big's on the Pelicans under contract next season.

  • C/PF Anthony Davis: 30 MPG; 13 PPG; 8 RPG; 3 more years left on contract worth $5,144, 280 last year

  • PF Ryan Anderson: 30 MPG; 16 PPG; 6 RPG; 3 more years left on contract worth $8,700,000 last year

  • C Jason Smith: 17 MPG; 8 PPG; 3 RPG; 1 year left on contract worth $2,500,000

Now they have the rights to Jeff Withey for around a half million a year for four years.

The other big for the Pelican's from last year is a Free Agent:

  • PF/C Lou Amundson: 10 MPG; 2 PPG; 3 RPG; unrestricted free agent

New Orleans picked up All-Star PG Jru Holliday for #6 pick Center Noel.

In the Center Robin Lopez deal they picked up PG/SG/SF Tyreke Evans to let go of even more front court talent.

With Eric Gordon starting at SG for the Pelicans, they seem to now have their starting 5 and are looking for depth, role players.

This situation is even better than Portland for Jeff.

Ben Berglund 7 years, 3 months ago

They drafted Nerlens Noel too. I have this feeling he won't cut it in the NBA though.

Andy Hess 7 years, 3 months ago

They traded Noel for Jrue Holliday on draft day.

wrwlumpy 7 years, 3 months ago

I think gumbo, and crayfish pie can finally put the extra pounds on Jeff that he'll need.

Joe Ross 7 years, 3 months ago


...if you're from the Crescent City.

Andy Hess 7 years, 3 months ago

It's Crawfish in Kansas too. At least in my house it is.

brooksmd 7 years, 3 months ago

Mudbugs is preferred in the Crescent City.

wrwlumpy 7 years, 3 months ago

Actually I grew up in the Ozarks and fished every day using Crawdads.

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 3 months ago

hopefully he likes crawfish etoufee. That will put some pounds on him quick. Though I don't know if it's the kind of weight that he wants to add... I'd hate for him to gain a bunch of weight and then start having foot injuries.

Robert Brock 7 years, 3 months ago

He may eventually look like Paul Prudhomme.

Michael Pannacciulli 7 years, 3 months ago

If Jeff get big..he doesn't jump...block, and his knees crumble. He can get stronger though.

hawkdiek 7 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Steve Kubler 7 years, 3 months ago

It is the new Google deal. I fear you get used to it or not read. :(

otaKU 7 years, 3 months ago

Xavier Henry. What a waste. Dude should've stayed at least another year.

GortHawker 7 years, 3 months ago

Are they serious, did they really change their name to " The Pelicans" ?

Woody Cragg 7 years, 3 months ago

Traded to the dreaded "Pelicans!" At least one thing's for certain, he won't be going to Woodville to play for the Peckers.

Michael Pannacciulli 7 years, 3 months ago

Agreed. And he can show up teammate Davis. ;)

Jeff Coffman 7 years, 3 months ago

Sometimes I think nba players don't even know where they are at.

This July 10 rule seems weird. I think Portland, pelicans, kings, and a few other teams have made multiple trades, but because of the timing, they aren't official.

Somehow Dwight Howard will be on the pelicans and the trailblazers next year and they aren't even courting him.

Greg Lux 7 years, 3 months ago

I have to laugh at the whole Withey situation. ( Not at Jeff ).But you tell me anyone, I mean anyone, who saw Jeff play his second year at KU ( after sitting out his first as a transfer from AZ ) who didn't think " Where did we get this guy? He is never going to play anything but clean up minutes at KU". Here was this tall lanky kid who could barely run down the court. Then 4 year later he is in the NBA !!!. Jeff Withey has to be one of the best if not the best coaching and conditioning jobs ever accomplished on an player at KU or any college. And most of the credit goes to Jeff himself for his drive and desire to reach the top of his talent and prove so many people wrong ( Yes I am one of them ).We have had a lot of 7 foot centers at KU over my lifetime and I can say without a doubt Jeff Withey was the greatest defensive center since Wilt. Congrats Jeff you deserve every opportunity the future can offer you and I know where ever you play basketball you are going to leave a positive mark.

Rock Chalk

Preston Dwiggins 7 years, 3 months ago

I was the less than 1% who believed in Jeff. All my KU friends laughed at me for believing in Jeff. I am proud of him and thank you Jeff for making me look like a guru to all my friends!

Shawn Mansfield 7 years, 3 months ago

Withey was much more of a player than Ostertag. He fouled much more than Withey (really the key factor to Withey's defensive performance). Every 7 footer blocks shots, but most didn't avoid fouls like Withey. And he only played (real minutes) for 2 years. The better defensive comparison is to Wilt.

Michael Bennett 7 years, 3 months ago

Meanwhile, I never got how people didn't see his potential. In the 2010-2011 year before his breakout season with T-Rob, I predicted Withey would have a breakout year. He just needed playing time out of necessity. He was the #36 recruit, and a 7-foot center at Kansas where they play inside-out. It doesn't take rocket science to see these things coming

Virgil_Caine 7 years, 3 months ago

Well, our guys ended up on two of the most miserable franchises in the NBA. They're going to have to get used to losing, but the good news is they should both have opportunities to play.

Tim Orel 7 years, 3 months ago

Correction - it may yet be Charlotte, seeing as how all these trades have another few days to occur.

jaybate 7 years, 3 months ago

I forget, Virgil, do you still serve on the Danville train?

Or you back with your wife in Tennessee?

Regardless, Garth, Robbie, Richard and I agree with you and Levon, there ought to be minutes for our guys, or else we're going to be singin'

"Now I don't mind choppin' wood,

And I don't care if the money's no good.

Ya take what ya need and ya leave the rest,

But they should never have taken the very best..."

Jack Wilson 7 years, 3 months ago

Please note .. they have just logged that in their data base.

jaybate 7 years, 3 months ago

Stop picking on Google. :-)

There are probably no major defense/intel-free apps.

Defense/intel wonks essentially created the internet.

The Internet infrastructure and core apps are effectively proprietary defense/intel joint ventures.

Internet freedom has always been the freedom to be watched and stored.

The sum total of stored data appears on a trajectory to one day allow simulations of reality without any noncompliant aspects of reality and without anyone realizing the marginalization of the no compliant. Scary but quite possibly true.

The singularity reputedly cometh.

Enjoy the net while you can still be confident it is really you enjoying it and not your simulation.

The pods will be digital. :-)

Randy Bombardier 7 years, 3 months ago

Crazy. Another example of why I am not an NBA fan.

Trey Hohman 7 years, 3 months ago

Jeff could get backup minutes next season on almost any NBA team besides maybe San Antonio

justinryman 7 years, 3 months ago

Actually he could spell Ducan and think of what he could learn from him as well?

JayDocMD 7 years, 3 months ago

And if not, maybe he can help you spell Duncan.

jk - no malice and not grammar police. Just couldn't resist the irony ;)

justinryman 7 years, 3 months ago

I like the trade, the "Can's are trying to build a quality team and they have done that in the draft the past two years and in trades this year.

They are young but if they can keep them together and healthy they will be a force.

Just make sure they have a coach that can coach em and good things will happen.

Sparko 7 years, 3 months ago

The NBA is basically an extended shoe commercial with no consistency. You root for contract deals. Sigh. JuJu's travails there fresh in mind. Doggone Portland. Ink never dries these days.

wrwlumpy 7 years, 3 months ago

ESPN had an article, which I can't find, that talks about many of these low salary cap teams that are actually dumping payroll and wins to get Wiggins. The Billionaire Celtics looked like they've hopped on that train too.

clevelandjayhawker 7 years, 3 months ago

What would be cool..... If Andrew Wiggins and one of the Gonzales twins fall in love and he stays for 3-4 years so they can be nearby each other. Then they get married and have kids, hopefully about 12, and these super-genetic-basketball-phenoms all follow the family tradition and become Jayhawks. These future class of 2034-2042 Hawks would be esential in helping lead coach Tyler Self to his of ten straight National Championships.

SoCalAlum 7 years, 3 months ago

and that B Rush sent to Utah Jazz as part of salary-cap clearance for Golden State (mostly, so GS can sign UFA Igualdola).

The 'Hawks really are flying....

Allen Shepard 7 years, 3 months ago

So, i use Adblock and an add on called Ghostery (firefox,) and i don't ever see any of the garbage that everyone is complaining about.

Ghostery can occasionally block things you actually want to use, but it is relatively easy to pause it or whitelist a site.

Trey Hohman 7 years, 3 months ago

Not quite sure Portland and Paul Allen know what they are doing exactly. Would u rather have Withey for $500K or Lopez for $5 million/yr with remaining two years guaranteed?

Lance Hobson 7 years, 3 months ago

Great news! I was worried when Portland traded for Lopez since that made a logjam a center in Portland. Problem solved.

Kevin Huffman 7 years, 3 months ago


Starting lineup =

J. Holiday E. Gordon T. Evans R. Anderson A. Davis (undersized 5)?

Withey can sub for Anderson (A. Davis can slide over to the 4) OR Davis. Cool

Only other player I can even think of on that roster now is A. Rivers.

nwillis51 7 years, 3 months ago

As a Jayhawk in N.O., I am excited that Jeff Withey is coming to the Pelicans. Do not underestimate Monty Williams, Dell Demps and Mr. Benson. I know we are in a tough division, but I think the moves made by the team are working towards a winning team. Monty Williams is a great teacher and I feel that Withey will not only learn, but get playing time with the Pelicans.

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