Jeff Withey’s agent Darren Matsubara says that the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks will both work out Withey, according to Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York. Despite limited athletic ability — the Kansas center has a below-average-for-a-seven-footer 7’2″ wingspan and just a 29″ max vertical — Withey is known for his shotblocking acumen, averaging 3.9 blocks in 30.9 minutes per game in his senior season. He added 13.7 points on 58.2% shooting and 8.5 rebounds per game.
Withey is projected as a late first-round pick in the 2013 NBA draft, and someone Jonathon Givony of DraftExpress calls “more of a 5 on 5” player than someone who shines in individual workouts.
The Nets struggled to defend the interior this season, and a presence like Withey could help them turn away shots inside (if Withey continues to do that at the NBA level). Drafting a big would also help with the Andray Blatche situation — should Blatche stay, a defensive presence as a backup 5 would allow the Nets to play Andray Blatche next to Brook Lopez more, where he succeeded in limited minutes. Should Blatche go, it would still give the Nets a backup center, and someone who has the potential to improve their defense.