Jeff Withey’s NBA career will begin in the Big Easy.
By RUSTIN DODD
The Kansas City Star
The New Orleans Pelicans announced Tuesday that they had signed Withey to a rookie contract. The deal completed a busy summer for Withey, who was traded to New Orleans just days into his NBA career and led the Pelicans with 1.5 blocks per game during a short stint in the NBA summer league.
Withey, a former KU standout, was selected by Portland in the second round of the NBA Draft before being dealt to New Orleans as part of a three-team deal that also sent Sacramento guard Tyreke Evans to the Pelicans. (New Orleans, meanwhile, shipped center Robin Lopez to Portland and Greivis Vasquez to the Kings.)
“It’s just a weird string of events that got me here,” Withey said earlier this month. “But I’m extremely excited to be here.”
New Orleans didn’t disclose the terms of Withey’s deal, but according to the NBA’s current collective bargaining agreement, the league minimum for rookies in 2013-14 is expected to be a shade under $500,000.
Withey, of course, is not a total stranger to New Orleans. During his junior year at Kansas, he helped the Jayhawks to the 2012 Final Four at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. One year later, Withey finished his Kansas career as the Big 12’s all-time leading shot-blocker with 312 blocks.