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54° Good Afternoon

Jeff Withey, Allen Crabbe work out for Knicks

Kansas center Jeff Withey smiles after coming out

Kansas center Jeff Withey smiles after coming out of the game in the final minutes of a third-round game against North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament. (March 24, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

GREENBURGH, N.Y. - He's young, he's big and he likes the idea of living in a big city like New York.

That's the mini-skinny on Kansas big man Jeff Withey, who worked out Monday for the Knicks and will work out Tuesday for the Brooklyn Nets. The Knicks have the 24th pick in the NBA draft on June 27, while the Nets have the 22nd. Both teams could use a young 7-footer to back up their centers.

Withey played on the same AAU team as Nets center Brook Lopez and counts him as a friend. Though he has never met Knicks center Tyson Chandler, he said he would welcome a chance to hone his craft as his understudy.

"I like to model my game after Tyson Chandler, defensively," he said. "It would be awesome to be able to come here and learn from him, get some stuff from him and mentor underneath him. They definitely do need that. I would love to be that person."

The 23-year-old Withey averaged 13.7 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.9 blocks last year as a senior at Kansas. He said his workout went fairly well Monday with the Knicks, and he believes he would be a good addition to either team.

"Both teams need a backup center," Withey said. "I think my first year I could pretty much come in here and contribute. New York is a great city and a great town. I would love to be in this area."

Shooting guard Allen Crabbe also worked out for the Knicks Monday and will work out for the Nets on Tuesday. The 6-6 Crabbe was the Pac-12's leading scorer last season with an average of 18.4 points a game. The Knicks could have used a scorer like Crabbe in the postseason. And that need could become even more acute if the team loses J.R. Smith to free agency.

Said Crabbe: "I'm definitely a person who can shoot the ball really well. I can spread the floor. I rebound well at my position. I've been working on my defense a lot . . . I'm looking to improve in every aspect of my game, so I'm just a person who can come in and contribute."

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