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NBA Free Agency: Clippers Meeting with Jeff Withey

Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Clippers have a meeting scheduled today with free agent center Jeff Withey (as well as the previously noted Willie Reed).

NBA: Playoffs-Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Clippers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Withey is perhaps the most stereotypical traditional backup center in the NBA. Large, lumbering, and without much in the toolbox outside of some hooks around the basket, Withey is a type of player who used to abound in the NBA. The NBA today has moved towards two types of big men: shooters who stretch the floor, and athletic rim-runners who can control the area around the basket. Withey is neither.

This isn’t to say Withey is bad. He’s been a borderline rotation player for his four years in the NBA, and on solid teams (New Orleans and then Utah) at that. His best season was back in 2015-2016, when he averaged 4.3 points and 3.4 rebounds per game for the Jazz in 12.9 minutes per game. That’s not too shabby, though it’s certainly not amazing either.

The Clippers need veterans to fill out the back end of their roster. While they like Brice Johnson, if he doesn’t pan out they need other options, and a reliable veteran fits the bill. At age 27, Withey is what he is: a good 3rd string center and an underwhelming primary reserve. Between him and Willie Reed I certainly prefer Reed, who was better last season in a bigger role than Withey ever has. But as a 13th or 14th man on the roster, Withey is fine.