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Dallas Mavericks sign Jarrod Uthoff to multi-year contract

Former Iowa player sticks with NBA team, for now

Iowa forward Jarrod Uthoff talks with reporters at the NBA Scouting Combine in Chicago last spring. (The Gazette)
Iowa forward Jarrod Uthoff talks with reporters at the NBA Scouting Combine in Chicago last spring. (The Gazette)

Good news came Jarrod Uthoff’s way today.

The former University of Iowa basketball player has been signed for the rest of this season by the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks.

The Mavericks announced Wednesday morning that they had signed Uthoff to a multi-year contract, but didn’t announce terms of the contract. Whether anything is guaranteed beyond the end of this season is unclear.

Uthoff finished the second of two 10-day contracts with the Mavericks, and a decision had to be made today on whether to sign him for the duration of the season or release him.

UPDATE: Uthoff scores first career NBA points (Video)

Uthoff was signed by the Toronto Raptors as an undrafted free agent last summer.

Dallas has nine games remaining this season, and is 4.5 games out of the Western Conference’s final playoff spot. The Mavericks, 31-42 and on the cusp of elimination from playoff-contention, start a five-game road trip tonight with a game at New Orleans.

Uthoff has played in just two games for Dallas, totaling five minutes of playing time. The Mavericks sent him to their D-League affiliate twice during his first 20 days with the team. That league is where he has spent the bulk of his rookie pro season, first with Raptors 905 after failing to make Toronto’s roster in training camp, and then with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants after a trade.

In 37 D-League games, he has averaged 11.1 points and 6.4 rebounds.

“He was playing extremely well in the D-League,’’ Mavericks Coach Rick Carlisle said Wednesday, as this Fort Worth Star-Telegram post by Dwain Price details.

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“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.”

The Star-Telegram story quotes Uthoff as saying this: “I don’t think you get stressed out about it, but I think it’s more of my first goal has been accomplished. I look at it that it’s a huge stepping stone, but I’m looking forward to the future.”

Click the link to Price’s story and reward his legwork.

Uthoff was a third-team Associated Press All-America last year at Iowa. He played his high school ball at Cedar Rapids Jefferson, then signed with Wisconsin and spent a season there before transferring to Iowa.

He is the only former Hawkeye playing in the NBA.

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