2013 NBA Draft: Indiana Pacers Might Be Tempted to Draft Jeff Withey

By John Raffel
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers have pick No. 23 in the NBA draft, and don’t be surprised if they take Jeff Withey.

He should be available when the Pacers are up, and he can bring plenty to the table for Indiana. Withey is picked to go from 24 to 29 in some polls. He’s a 7-foot-2, 222-pound senior center who could be an excellent backup to Roy Hibbert or even a good floormate if the Pacers would decide to put the two big guys together for defensive purposes.

For Kansas last season, Withey averaged 13.7. points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.9 blocks per game. It’s the blocks per game that has a lot of NBA teams drooling for his services. Once he learns the NBA game, Withey could be among the most feared defenders in the league.

Withey also has a good shooting touch with the ball. He shot 58.2 percent from the floor and 71.4 percent from the free-throw line. Scouts like that way he can move around the basket and the way he can convert shots. He could start for many teams, although the Pacers would probably use him as a backup.

Some call Withey perhaps the best overall defender in college basketball. He’s improved heavily in the last two seasons and has been making a name for himself across the country.

If Withey is still available when they make their choice, the Pacers might raise some eyebrows by taking him when they have Roy Hibbert, but the gifts Withey would add to the team are too valuable to overlook.

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