Assessing Jeff Withey’s fit on the Brooklyn Nets

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - APRIL 12: Jeff Withey
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - APRIL 12: Jeff Withey /
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – APRIL 12: Jeff Withey
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – APRIL 12: Jeff Withey /

The Brooklyn Nets still have an open roster spot and some salary cap space to spare. Brooklyn has a need for big men but isn’t likely to invest much into a position that is becoming obsolete.

The Brooklyn Nets have room for one more player and it seems like the team is focusing on adding a big man. Rumors have the Nets focused on acquiring one in a trade as opposed to signing one. In fact, the Nets have yet to hand out a single guaranteed contract for next season.

Instead, the team has used two of its two-way contract slots but none were used on a big man. The team just traded away two of its only big men in Andrew Nicholson and Justin Hamilton. Nicholson was used to acquire Allen Crabbe. Hamilton was used to acquire DeMarre Carroll. Both outgoing Nets bigs were waived by their new employers.

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Sean Marks did well to rid the team of two not-so-great deals. Nicholson’s deal, which was for another three years, was particularly cumbersome. Marks’ job isn’t done though. The team lacks depth down low.

The free agent market has a few options still available. Nerlens Noel, Alex Len and Nikola Mirotic are all still restricted free agents. They would all garner multi-year deals though, and the Nets might not even have the requisite cap space to sign any of them any way.

Instead, if the Nets can’t find a big man via a trade, the team could look towards the bargain bin for a backup center.

A stop-gap option for the Nets could be Jeff Withey.

Withey is a four year NBA veteran who has played for the New Orleans Pelicans and the Utah Jazz.

He has started 15 games for his career though, and has never played more than 12.9 minutes per game.

Withey is a big body off the bench. He 7-feet tall and his game is simple. Withey is a finisher at the rim and doesn’t feature much of an offensive game. He is capable of finishing lobs and hitting small hook shots, but not much else. In fact, Withey has never taken a 3-pointer in a game.

All things considered, Withey isn’t worth a flier for Brooklyn. While he does have a good rebounding rate (16 percent for his career), Withey lacks a refined offensive game. At 27, he likely isn’t going to improve much, unless he goes through a Brook Lopez-like transformation and drains 35 percent of his 3-pointers.

The Nets need to take gambles on high-risk, high-upside players. With Withey, you know what you’re getting. He can be a good fit on a team in need of a big body.

Next: Pros and cons of the Allen Crabbe trade

The Nets have Jarrett Allen occupying the rim-running finisher role. They don’t need to add another big who won’t move the needle and isn’t a glove fit in their system.

Withey deserves to be on an NBA team. He at least deserves a training camp invite from a team.

That team doesn’t have to be Brooklyn.