Dallas Mavericks

Rookie Jarrod Uthoff signs multi-year deal with Mavericks

Iowa forward Jarrod Uthoff, left, went undrafted last summer, but has found some stability with the Dallas Mavericks.
Iowa forward Jarrod Uthoff, left, went undrafted last summer, but has found some stability with the Dallas Mavericks. AP

Although they haven’t seen him play much, the Dallas Mavericks have seen enough of Jarrod Uthoff that they signed the 6-9 forward to a multi-year contract on Wednesday.

The Mavericks also had the option of offering a contract to guard Manny Harris, whose second 10-day contract also has expired. But no offer was extended to Harris, who has gone back to the National Basketball Association Development League to play for the Texas Legends.

The Mavericks have been extremely impressed with Uthoff, who the team originally signed to a 10-day contract on March 9. Even though the Iowa product has played a total of 5 minutes in two games, Carlisle harped on the time Uthoff spent playing for the Texas Legends.

“He was playing extremely well in the D-League,’’ Carlisle said after this morning’s shootaround at Smoothie King Center. “We haven’t had a lot of practices, but in individual workouts and talking to him and hearing him talk about the game, he’s got a very good attitude,and during this period of the last nine games we’ve got to get him out here and look at him a little bit.

“There aren’t a lot of high quality stretch fours in the draft, and so this is an opportunity for us to take a close look. I don’t know what you (media) guys know about his contract situation, but we’ll have the option to look at him this summer and potentially make a further commitment, so it’s a win-win.”

Now that he has some financial security, Uthoff can exhale a bit and concentrate on producimg more once he starts receiving more minutes.

“I don’t think you get stressed out about it, but I think it’s more of my first goal has been accomplished,’’ he said. “I look at it that it’s a huge stepping stone, but I’m looking forward to the future.

“At the same time I’m going to keep working the same as I always have. There’s a lot more to be had.”

With a new contract, it’s not known if Uthoff will change his eating habits. When the Mavericks were in Toronto about two weeks ago, Carlisle said Uthoff was in a convenient store purchasing a loaf of bread and some deli meat.

When asked which convenient store did he go to in New Orleans, Uthoff laughed and said: “That’s funny.’’ But he never answered the question.

“I’ll do whatever’s healthy,’’ Uthoff said. “I’m a healthy guy.

Uthoff said the first thing he did after learning of the new contract was call his wife back in Fort Wayne, Ind.

“We expected to be a part of the NBA sooner or later, so it’s very exciting for us,’’ he said. “We definitely had a couple of smiles.”

His teammates also are all smiles for Uthoff.

"I'm happy for him," guard Devin Harris said. "The kid works hard.

"He's part of our family, and we just go to try to get him better. He's part of us now, so this is a good day for him."

Carlisle said he believes Uthoff can add “skill’’ to the Mavericks’ roster. Undrafted last summer, Uthoff averaged 165 points and 8.5 rebounds in two recent D-League games with the Legends.

“The guy was shooting in the high 40s from three and may even been shooting 50 (percent) from three in the D-League,’’ Carlisle said. “And he’s got a very effective mid-range game, he’s taller and longer than you think, he blocked a lot of shots in the D-League.

“There’s a lot of things about his game that are very intriguing.”

Drew Davison: 817-390-7760, @drewdavison

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