Former Kansas big man Jeff Withey will work out for both New York teams this week and could be an attractive option in the first round.
The 7-foot, 235-pound center visits the Knicks Monday and the Nets Tuesday. The Nets pick No. 22 and the Knicks choose No. 24 in the June 27 NBA Draft.
As a fifth-year senior under coach Bill Self, Withey averaged 13.7 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.9 blocks.
One advisor to Withey spoke with SNY.tv about the upcoming workouts but requested anonymity because he prefers to stay behind the scenes.
“He’s got New York on Monday,” the advisor said. “I just think how defensive-minded as a coach Mike Woodson is, I think Jeff Withey” can “fit in there.” That’s what makes the Knicks a very attractive fit for Jeff and for the Knicks.”
The Knicks are clearly in need of some youth in the frontcourt, and the advisor also said Withey could learn from All-Star center Tyson Chandler.
“It’s so hard for young centers to go into the league unless you have a strong mentor,” the advisor said. “And I think if you look at all the centers that have done well, they all kind of came in with somebody who could show them the way.”
Nets center Brook Lopez could provide a similar type of mentorship to Withey as Chandler might.
“It’s tough to work out for a team when you don’t have a coach,” the advisor said of the Nets, who are still searching for a head coach.
“Sacramento wanted Jeff to go in there, but they didn’t have their coach, they didn’t have their management in place.”
On top of the Knicks and Nets, Withey will also work out for the L.A. Clippers and the Utah Jazz.
In addition to Withey on Monday, the Knicks will also work out 6-11 Bucknell center Mike Muscala, 6-6 Cal shooting guard Allen Crabbe, 6-5 N.C. State point guard Lorenzo Brown and 6-1 Texas point guard Myck Kabongo.Follow Adam Zagoria on Twitter
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.