Blazers' Joel Freeland's Agent Speaks Out Over Client's NBA D-League Assignment
A bevy of NBA prospects have been sent down to the D-League so far this season in an effort to provide them with opportunities not yet available to them in The Association. Whether it be extra playing time, different competition, or special individual attention from a coaching staff, there are plenty of benefits to such assignments.
But even with all that considered, the NBADL still just isn't for everybody. And apparently, Blazers' big man Joel Freeland's agent doesn't believe the minors is the right place for his client.
According to our friends at SB Nation's own Blazers' Edge (via HoopsHype), Rafa Calvo was less than enthusiastic about the assignment. The agent cited the 2006 first-round draft selection's time in Europe as the reason for the NBADL not being the place of preference for his client. After spending so much time developing and honing his skills overseas, Calvo suggested that Freeland had already gone through the motions necessary to make the adjustment to the NBA game. The assignment, to him, "makes no sense."
Though Calvo believes Freeland's time spent in Europe is enough to make him readily available to start competing at the high NBA level, some league executives think otherwise. The fact of the matter is that the two regions feature different styles of play, different competition, and big men are often utilized in quite a different fashion. There are always adjustments to be made.
In the second part of RidiculousUpside.com's exclusive interview with Rockets Vice President of Basketball Operations (and D-League Vipers' General Manager) Gersson Rosas, the executive discussed the development of Houston' own resident European big man, Donatas Montiejunas. Though the big man is close to being able to make notable contributions for his squad, the Rockets are quite deep at his position. With that in mind, he's been sent to Rio Grande Valley on numerous occasions thus far to garner more experience in the meantime.
Such an opportunity could turn out to be a positive one for Freeland as well. He's already made strides with the Stampede early on during his assignment, averaging 20.5 points and 10.5 rebounds through the first two contests.
It's simply a matter of just how much he embraces it. Clearly, after monitoring him closely since 2006 and finally bringing him in the fold, the Blazers are intrigued by the promise Freeland shows. The D-League may simply be the team's way of helping him finally begin realizing that potential.
I agree, the assignment was stupid. Freeland's already spent plenty time at the highest level of basketball outside of the NBA. There's nothing he can learn or get out of a D-League stint.
Suddenly there are no benefits to reps? How could you possibly know that?
Not for a guy with so much experience way above the d-league level. He's not a guy getting his feet wet playing pro level basketball. Joel's been a pro since 2006. He's better off getting reps practicing with the parent club. Playing meaningless minutes with guys playing to get attention serves no purpose for a guy like him.
Don't Draft a guy that you can't use.
Truth is he played so horribly bad in the minutes he received that maybe he is a bust. So he doesnt deserve any minutes on the court the way he is producing right now, makes it any difference he played on a high level in europe? No, not at all. Shooting in the twenties, not rebounding or playing defense whatsoever, I believe support through the NBDL is way better than watching from the bench. Lacking a sense for reality is a bad precursor for the rest of his NBA career the next year or so, feeling of entitlement is totally misplaced.
Let me start by stating I don't know anything about Joe Freeland and never saw him play. However, I've been around basketball for many decades and some things are true for most players. One should never judge a player solely on how he performs when he's thrown into the game for a few minutes.
Many players, in fact most players, perform much better when they know they will play every game and receive consistent minutes. If you're only getting a handful of minutes, most guys are so afraid of making a mistake which will cost them those few precious minutes, they cannot play at their best. Starters make mistakes all the time but they play with confidence because they know a few mistakes will not cost them their playing time.
How many times have you seen a player on Team A, who never gets off the bench, is traded to team B where he plays very well? The first question we usually ask is why didn't he do that with Team A. Very often the answer is he never had the opportunity.
In addition, team chemistry and the amount of confidence a coach has in a player also plays a strong role.
IMO, the D-League is not for experienced players. To me, the development aspect of the league is for the young, inexperienced guys looking to take baby steps to ease their way into the pro game. Freeland is neither young or inexperienced. The reason why he stayed so long in Europe before coming to the states was to gain experience, make his mark and develop enough to be prepared for the NBA. The guy is almost 26 y/o, in the early stages of his prime. He's already had his D-League experience overseas. He should stay with the parent club to work with the guys he'll be playing with and to work on the role that he'll be playing with the team.
If he continues to suck then maybe he's not cut out for the NBA.
against/with Aldrdge and co is better than with the DLeague mob. As said hes 26. the problem maybe that hes kinda similar to Aldgridge on O.