Former 39th overall pick Jeff Withey is seeing significant minutes with the Jazz this season after a parting of ways with the Pelicans that cast him into uncertainty, as Ben Dowsett of Basketball Insiders details. Executives from other teams have speculated about whether the Pelicans dealt fairly with the center, who said GM Dell Demps told him during the playoffs that the team wanted him back, Dowsett reports. The team made a qualifying offer to him but withdrew it shortly before re-signing Alexis Ajinca, making Withey an unrestricted free agent and leaving him “really confused,” as he said to Dowsett. Withey ultimately landed with Utah on a partially guaranteed deal that last week became fully guaranteed for the rest of this season, and he’s pleased with his new surroudings.
“In New Orleans, it was a tough place for me, just because the coach [Monty Williams], he didn’t really give me a shot, you know what I mean?” Withey said to Dowsett. “Even if I was playing, if I screwed up one time or anything like that, he would just take me right out. Here, Coach [Quin Snyder], he’ll come to you … it’s just a different type of coaching. More player-friendly, for sure.”
Withey has one more year left on his deal, with a non-guaranteed minimum salary for next season. See more on the Pelicans and the rest of the Southwest Division:
- Dante Cunningham is shooting more 3-pointers than ever this season, and while he’s making a passable 30% of them, it’s still not enough to give the Pelicans the spacing necessary to prevent double teams on Anthony Davis, as John Reid of The Times Picayune examines. New Orleans re-signed Cunningham in the offseason to a three-year deal worth nearly $8.935MM. Backup and fellow offseason signee Alonzo Gee is nailing just 27.3% of his 3-point looks, compounding the absence of Pondexter, as Justin Verrier of ESPN.com examines.
- The Raptors were one of the teams that pursued Danny Green this summer, according to Buck Harvey of the San Antonio Express-News. Given the four-year, $58MM deal that Toronto gave fellow wing player DeMarre Carroll, it seems Green was liable to end up with much more than the $40MM over four years he got from the Spurs, Harvey writes. However, unlike other places in the NBA, San Antonio affords him the comfort of knowing the team has a history of supporting him through slumps like the one he’s in now, as Harvey details.
- Baron Davis, who’s set to play in the D-League, reportedly worked out for the Mavs recently, but coach Rick Carlisle laughed off the notion and owner Mark Cuban clarified that the team has an “open door” as far as its D-League affiliate goes but doesn’t harbor NBA-level interest in him. Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News relays Cuban’s comment.