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Ex-Hawkeye Jarrod Uthoff nets his first NBA shot

Chad Leistikow
cleistik@dmreg.com

When Jarrod Uthoff told NBA teams didn’t want to be taken in the NBA Draft’s second round, this is the kind of future opportunity he had in mind.

The Dallas Mavericks will sign Uthoff to a 10-day contract on Thursday, which will give the former Hawkeye at least five regular-season games on an NBA roster with NBA pay.

Jarrod Uthoff (20) last season became Iowa's first consensus all-American in men's basketball since 1952.

The news was first reported by The Vertical, and later confirmed independently by The Des Moines Register.

Uthoff is expected to be in uniform Friday when the Mavericks host the Brooklyn Nets.

The 6-foot-9 Cedar Rapids native had been tearing it up in the NBA Development League since being traded from Toronto to the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Mad Ants. In his last five games, he averaged 21.6 points, 12.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists while shooting 57.3 percent from the floor.

Although Uthoff was playing in the D-League, he was an NBA free agent — meaning his rights weren’t owned by any franchise, which is what happens with second-round draft selections. Uthoff and his agent, Adam Pensack, told teams not to draft him in June because the player didn’t want to be stashed on a roster at home or overseas.

By going the free agent route, he signed a partially-guaranteed contract with the Toronto Raptors. That arrangement didn't work out, and he was shipped to the Mad Ants, making him a free agent again.

So, what now? Three things could happen after this 10-day contract: He could sign another 10-day deal with Dallas; he could be signed for the rest of the NBA season; or the Mavs could release him. If the latter happens, he would return to Fort Wayne.

Regardless, Uthoff certainly has a nice opportunity before him.