Jeff Withey

And-Ones: White, Adams, Hawes, Withey

Former first-round pick Royce White still plans to play in Ice Cube’s BIG3 basketball league this summer despite making a jump to mixed martial arts, the 27-year-old told Hoops Rumors.

White, who last played in the NBA with Sacramento in 2014, entered his name to the BIG3 player pool in early February. White first made his intentions of starting a career in MMA known during an interview with ESPN’s Greg Rosenstein.

“I’m one of the best athletes in the world,” White told ESPN. “Among the NBA community, part of my appeal as a draft prospect was my unique size, athleticism, vision and that I probably have one of the 10 biggest set of hands in the NBA. I think all of those things will translate beautifully to the UFC.”

White released a book this week titled “MMA x NBA: A Critique of Modern Sport in America”. He was drafted 16th by the Rockets in 2012 after a standout season at Iowa State, later moving on to hold stints with the Kings and teams overseas before temporarily stepping away from the court last August.

White, a 6-foot-8, 260-pound forward, joins Shannon Brown, Kendrick Perkins, Lamar Odom and other former NBA players who are set to play in the BIG3 this summer.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Free agent Jordan Adams has been acquired by the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, G League affiliate of the Rockets, agent Shasta Scott told Hoops Rumors. Adams appeared in 32 games with the Grizzlies from 2014-16, averaging 3.2 points per game in limited time. He was drafted with the No. 22 pick by Memphis in 2014.
  • Former NBA player Spencer Hawes has signed a contract in the NBA G League and is available to be claimed off waivers, Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days tweets. Hawes, a 10-year NBA veteran, has made stops with the Kings, Sixers, Cavaliers, Clippers, Hornets and Bucks during his professional career.
  • Jeff Withey has agreed to a deal with Greek team Lavrio B.C. for the rest of the season, the team announced (hat tip to Sportando). Withey started the season in Turkey with Tofas Bursa, but left the team following their elimination in the EuroCup. He last played in the NBA with the Mavericks during the 2017-18 season.

And-Ones: Withey, Nunnally, K. Porter, NBA 2K

Former NBA center Jeff Withey, who has logged over 200 career games for New Orleans, Utah, and Dallas, is exploring opportunities in China after parting ways with his Turkish club last month. According to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (Twitter link), a report suggesting that Withey has reached a deal with the Shanghai Sharks is inaccurate, but the big man has tried out for the Zhejiang Golden Bulls.

Meanwhile, another former NBA player, James Nunnally, is a candidate to head back overseas after being waived by the Timberwolves last week. As Carchia relays, Nunnally continues to weigh his options after being linked to Spanish team Baskonia.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Top 2019 draft prospect Kevin Porter Jr. has been suspended for “personal conduct issues” by USC, the team announced over the weekend. Trojans head coach Andy Enfield said after Sunday’s game that the suspension is indefinite, per J. Brady McCollough of The Los Angeles Times. “We’ll re-evaluate his future with the program this week,” Enfield said. In his most recent 2019 mock draft, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony had Porter, a freshman guard, coming off the board at No. 11 overall.
  • One executive who spoke to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports today cautioned against reading too much into reports on trade discussions or inquiries (Twitter link). “Be careful of these reports of teams talking,” the executive told Smith. “I mean, everyone is talking to everyone else. It’s trade season. Of course we’re all talking. I have 20 conversations a day at least that go nowhere as far as deals go, but it just takes one.”
  • The NBA, NBPA, and 2K announced today in a press release that they’re extending their partnership. The agreement, which ensures that NBA teams and players will continue to appear in the NBA 2K franchise for the foreseeable future, is believed to be worth $1.1 billion over seven years, according to Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal, who notes (via Twitter) that’s more than double the value of previous deals.

And-Ones: UCLA Coach, Withey, Delfino, NBAGL

With Steve Alford out as the head coach at UCLA, and the program launching a search for Alford’s replacement, a pair of former NBA head coaches have already been linked to the position.

Marc Stein of The New York Times tweets that there have been “persistent rumbles in NBA coaching circles” that the Bruins would pursue Fred Hoiberg, though it’s not clear if Hoiberg would be open to returning to the NCAA. After he was let go by Chicago earlier this season, reports indicated that Hoiberg wanted to remain in the NBA.

Meanwhile, a source tells Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link) that former UCLA guard Earl Watson would have interest in the job. Watson, who coached in Phoenix from 2016-17, has strong AAU ties and was close with Bruins legend John Wooden, Spears notes.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Veteran NBA big man Jeff Withey had been playing in Turkey this season, but he and Tofas Bursa have parted ways, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando relays. Withey, who has logged more than 200 regular season NBA appearances, played in nine games for Dallas in 2017/18.
  • An NBA forward from 2004 to 2013, Carlos Delfino had been playing with Fiat Torino this season, but his time with the Italian club came to an abrupt end last week. According to Carchia, Delfino had a heated argument with Fransesco Forni, who is Fiat Torino’s VP and the son of the team’s owner. Forni issued a statement saying that Delfino “almost assaulted” him, and the club opened disciplinary proceedings against the veteran after cutting him. Delfino disputed the notion that there was any sort of physical confrontation and explained his side of the story to Carchia.
  • Former first-round pick Rashad Vaughn has changed NBA G League teams, with the Delaware Blue Coats acquiring him today from the Texas Legends, per a press release.
  • Speaking of the G League, Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days recently took a look at some of the challenges facing Shareef Abdur-Rahim, who is taking over as the NBAGL president.

Markel Brown, Jeff Withey To Play In Turkey

A pair of NBA veterans are headed to Turkey for the coming season. Michael Scotto of The Athletic reports (via Twitter) that free agent guard Markel Brown has agreed to a one-year deal with Darussafaka, while Tofas Bursa has announced a contract agreement with center Jeff Withey.

Brown, 26, signed a two-way contract with the Rockets in January after previously appearing in 113 games for the Nets. The former second-round pick appeared in only four games for Houston last season, but averaged 15.9 PPG and 5.0 RPG in nine games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the G League. He was initially tendered a two-way qualifying offer, but had that QO rescinded earlier this month.

As Blake Murphy of Raptors Republic notes (via Twitter), the team that Brown is joining is the one from which potential Raptors two-way signee Jordan Loyd has been attempting to negotiate his release. It’s not clear if Darussafaka’s addition of Brown will open up a path for Loyd’s exit.

Meanwhile, we relayed word of Tofas Bursa’s interest in Withey over the weekend. A former second-round pick, Withey has appeared in over 200 total NBA regular season games for the Pelicans, Jazz, and Mavericks. His most recent NBA stint came in Dallas before the Mavs waived him last December.

Turkish Team Targeting Jeff Withey?

Former second-round pick Jeff Withey is reportedly in negotiations with Tofas Bursa, a team in the Turkish Basketball Super League, per Sportando. There is no agreement in place as of this writing but both sides expect a “positive outcome,” according to the report.

Withey spent nine games with the Mavericks last season, but he was waived in mid-December. The 28-year-old averaged just 1.7 PPG and 1.1 RPG in his limited action with Dallas. The Trail Blazers originally drafted Withey in 2013 but he was promptly shipped to the Pelicans, where he spent his first two seasons.

Withey’s most significant playing time came with the Jazz after he signed with the team in August 2015. The seven-footer’s most productive season came with Utah during the 2015/16 campaign when he averaged a career-best 4.3 PPG and 3.4 RPG.

The former 39th overall pick spent four years with the Kansas Jayhawks in college before joining the NBA.

Northwest Notes: Sefolosha, Reed, Withey, T-Wolves

Jazz forward Thabo Sefolosha should be fully cleared for basketball activities within six weeks, Tony Jones of the The Salt Lake Tribune tweets. Sefolosha underwent season-ending right knee surgery after appearing in 38 games. His status with the franchise remains cloudy. Sefolosha’s $5.25MM salary for next season becomes guaranteed if he’s still on the roster on Sunday.

In other news around the Northwest Division:

  • The Thunder recently held a free-agent workout that included centers Willie Reed and Jeff Withey, according to Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype. Reed played 39 games with the Clippers before he was thrown into the Blake Griffin blockbuster with the Pistons. He was traded to the Bulls shortly thereafter and then waived. Withey played nine games with the Mavericks last season. The cap-strapped Thunder will be seeking low-cost alternatives to fill out their bench.
  • Salary-cap issues will force the Timberwolves to be frugal in free agency, the Associated Press reports. They’ll have to find some players on the market willing to team-friendly deals, perhaps for the veteran’s minimum, to fill out the bench, the report adds.
  • Point guard Shabazz Napier played regularly for the Trail Blazers last season but they still decided to let him go rather than giving him a qualifying offer.

Mavs Waive Jeff Withey, Sign Kyle Collinsworth To Two-Way Deal

The Mavericks have completed a series of roster moves, announcing today in a press release that they’ve waived center Jeff Withey from their 15-man roster. Additionally, Dallas has made a change to its two-way players, waiving swingman Antonius Cleveland and signing guard Kyle Collinsworth to a two-way contract to replace him.

Withey, 27, signed a non-guaranteed two-year deal with the Mavericks back in August, and earned a spot on the team’s regular season roster. However, he didn’t play much in Dallas, appearing in 10 games and logging just 39 total minutes this season. The Mavs will assume a cap hit of about $588K for Withey if he goes unclaimed on waivers.

Meanwhile, Dallas also swapped in a new player on a two-way contract — Johnathan Motley will remain in one of the team’s two slots, while Collinsworth will replace Cleveland in the other. Collinsworth has spent the last two seasons with the Texas Legends, Dallas’ G League affiliate. In 18 games this season, the 6’6″ guard has averaged 11.4 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 4.8 APG, and 1.7 SPG.

As for Cleveland, he had spent a good portion of this season with the Mavericks, having appeared in 13 games for the team, but with his 45-day limit approaching, Dallas has apparently decided to cut him rather than to convert his contract into a standard NBA deal. Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News notes (via Twitter) that Cleveland suffered an ankle injury on Monday night, so it’s possible the Mavs could bring him back when he gets healthy.

The Mavs now have 16 players under contract — two on two-way deals and 14 on standard NBA pacts.

Southwest Notes: Conley, Mejri, Noel, Rondo

The Grizzlies provided an update on injured point guard Mike Conley after Friday’s game, saying treatment and therapy will be used to lessen the pain in his left heel and Achilles tendon, according to an Associated Press story. The team plans to re-examine Conley in two weeks, and coach David Fizdale is optimistic that he will be ready to play by then.

“It’s unfortunate, but watching him play in pain like that and really trying to push through that stuff was worse to watch,” Fizdale said. “For whatever reason, this thing is just not going away on its own.”

While Conley is sidelined, the starting role will go to Mario Chalmers, who signed with Memphis in July after a year out of the league following a torn Achilles tendon. Chalmers is averaging 8.0 points and 3.5 assists through 14 games. Ben McLemore and Wayne Selden may also see increased playing time.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Moving Dirk Nowitzki to center has worsened the logjam in the middle for the Mavericks, writes Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. The other four centers on the roster, Salah Mejri, Nerlens Noel, Dwight Powell and Jeff Withey have all gone through games where they didn’t get off the bench. The problem will work itself out eventually — Withey’s contract is non-guaranteed, Mejri has a player option for next season and Noel will be an unrestricted free agent next summer — but for now there’s frustration over a lack of playing time. “It’s almost like we went to Costco and got a forklift full of centers,” said coach Rick Carlisle. “They’re all good players, but there are a limited number of minutes and with more teams playing hybrid centers, it makes it even harder.”
  • Mejri is sympathetic toward Noel, who expected a larger role after being acquired from the Sixers in a February trade, relays Kevin Sherrington of The Dallas Morning News. Noel was in a similar situation in Philadelphia, where he was competing for time with Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor and Richaun Holmes“I’m trying to tell [Noel] … hey, just go out there and play as hard as you can when you come to practice,” Mejri said. “Practice as hard as you can and then they will see that you’re trying to compete and they have reason to say, “Ah, we didn’t play Nerlens or we didn’t play Salah.’ It goes to everybody, you know?”
  • A healthy Rajon Rondo will turn the Pelicans into a different team, claims Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype. Rondo returned this week from a sports hernia and made an immediate impact with 8 assists in 14 minutes in his first game in the starting lineup.

Texas Notes: Gay, Paul, Harden, Withey

Rudy Gay was back on the court for the first time since January in Friday’s preseason game against the Kings, writes Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. San Antonio’s top free agent addition of the summer managed just four points in 18 minutes, but was happy that he felt no effects from the left Achilles tendon tear that ended his time with the Kings. “I’ve practiced pretty hard, just knowing I can get up there still, jump and be athletic,” Gay said. “It takes a lot of pressure off me.”

Gay got the start at small forward Friday and may continue in that role as long as Kawhi Leonard is sidelined with a right quadriceps issue. Gay has been a starter throughout his 11-year NBA career, but is expected to step into a reserve role once the team is at full strength.

There’s more today out of Texas:

  • The Spurs‘ latest rookie project comes to the team with a desire to be a great defender, relays Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. Brandon Paul went undrafted out of Illinois in 2013 and has spent most of his career in Europe. The 26-year-old shooting guard signed a two-year deal with the Spurs in July with a one-season guarantee of $815,615. “Anybody can put the ball in the basket,” Paul said. “But in order to stick out, you’ve got to be able to play both ends of the floor.”
  • Rockets star James Harden is engaged in a verbal battle with former coach Kevin McHale through the media. After McHale said on NBA TV this week that Harden is “not a leader,” the MVP runner-up responded today by calling McHale a “clown,” relays Tim MacMahon of ESPN“I did anything and everything he asked me to do,” Harden said. “I’ve tried to lead this team every day since I stepped foot here in Houston. To go on air and just downplay my name, when honestly he’s never taught me anything to be a leader … but I’ve done a great job. The organization, my coaches, you can ask any of those guys how I’ve worked extremely hard every single day to better [myself], obviously as a basketball player, but be a leader as well.”
  • Mavericks center Jeff Withey has worked on his 3-point shooting to try to fit into coach Rick Carlisle’s system, writes Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Withey signed a two-year contract worth nearly $3.4MM this summer, but only $350K of that is guaranteed. “We like his length, shot-blocking ability,” Carlisle said. “[Owner] Mark [Cuban] was really a key guy on this. He’d been studying him for a while. And he’s shown that he can knock in some perimeter shots from time to time.”

Southwest Notes: Noel, Withey, Spurs, Rockets

After months of uncertainty, Nerlens Noel agreed to a one-year, $4.1MM qualifying offer with the Mavericks, returning to the team that acquired him at the trade deadline last season. The former first round pick (sixth overall) from the 2013 NBA Draft has seen his stock derailed due to numerous injuries but his return provides Dallas with stability at center, Earl K. Sneed of NBA.com writes.

Noel, still just 23 years old, posted 8.5 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.0 SPG and 1.1 BPG in 22 games with Mavericks after the deal. While a return was far from certain for most of the offseason, Noel can now focus on strengthening the team’s core and building on the experiences that made Dallas an appealing destination for him.

“You know, I learned a lot,” Noel said. “I met a lot of great people and I started a lot of great relationships. And being around all the vets they have around here, it’s definitely something I took in with all the knowledge and all the small habits that help you succeed in this league for the duration of time that you’re in it. It’s been great. I love Dallas. You know, in my short time here, I’ve really enjoyed it. I think it’s been a great time. And with the pieces that we have and the opportunities that will be seen in the near future, I think there’s a lot to be excited for.”

Read below for additional news around the Southwest Division:

  • In addition to Noel, the Mavericks have shored up their depth at center by signing 27-year-old Jeff Withey to a two-year deal, according to Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). Withey, 27, appeared in 102 games off the bench for the Jazz the last two seasons.
  • With Noel’s return confirmed, Dallas Sports Day has compiled a feature highlighting 10 important facts about the center’s life and career.
  • Jorge Sierra of Hoops Hype previews the Spurs‘ 2017/18 as he examines the team’s additions, subtractions, incumbents, and salaries.
  • Rockets owners Leslie Alexander has increased his donation to aid the recovery from Hurricane Harvey to $10MM, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle writes.