Don Barksdale deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame as a ground breaker, the first-ever African American to be named to an NBA All-Star team and to play on a U.S. Olympic basketball team.
He got those honors because he was flat out good — from college where he was an All-American to his NBA career (cut short by ankle injuries). It was a different era and seemingly a different game in the early 1950s — notice the one-handed set shots — but that doesn’t make him any less one of the better players of his generation and a ground breaker for the NBA.
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Report: Pistons signing Trey Freeman to partially guaranteed contract
The Pistons have just 14 players – one shy of the regular-season roster limit – with guaranteed salaries. The final spot will very likely go to a point guard.
Brown and McCallum should be favored in the competition, because they’re more NBA-ready. A president/coach, Stan Van Gundy is more prone to covet the player who can step in immediately.
Freeman’s partial guarantee is likely designed to entice him to play in the D-League for a low base salary. The Pistons can waive him in the preseason and then assign his D-League rights to their affiliate, though he’d become an NBA free agent.
Freeman is working to become a better distributor after playing as a go-to scorer in college. A solid mid-range shooter, he must extend his range beyond the arc. It’d also help if he got to the rim more, and it seems he has the bounce to do that.
For an undrafted player, he has nice tools. They’ll probably just need to be refined in the D-League.
But even if that’s the intention, Freeman at least gives himself a chance first of upsetting Brown and McCallum in the race for third point guard.
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