The Portland Trail Blazers wanted to find another shot blocker as well as someone that could be a great asset on defense. They certainly accomplished that by selecting center Jeff Withey in the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft.
Even though Withey’s points per game rose drastically his senior year, he still lacks a complete offensive game that could hurt him at the professional level. With that being said, the Trail Blazers are not necessarily looking for an offensive big man in the draft because they have LaMarcus Aldridge to take care of that (assuming he is still with the team next season). What Portland does want is a defensive machine that will come off the bench and become a difference maker.
Withey averaged 13.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, a whopping 3.9 blocks and 30.9 minutes per game last season. He also managed to convert 58.2 percent of his 8.6 field goal attempts per game. The 7’0”, 235-pound center recorded an astounding 286 blocks over his last two collegiate seasons, including a career-high 146 total blocks last year.
His blocks and rebounds per game are everything the Trail Blazers need to see to know they could have a potential second-round steal on their hands. It will certainly be exciting to see what Withey brings to the table his rookie season. Not to mention, it will be interesting to see how well he develops over the next few years. The good news is he could be in very good hands with solid big men around him to look up to.