Any time two of the game’s more physical players are involved in a hard foul situation, there’s always the possibility that either could explode.
Thankfully, after Matt Barnes committed a flagrant foul on Zach Randolph during the fourth quarter of the Grizzlies’ Game 3 win over the Clippers, we saw exactly the opposite.
Barnes caught Randolph from behind in what was a hard foul, but shouldn’t have warranted the officials ruling it a flagrant. He did catch Randolph on the head, however, and Randolph’s immediate reaction to turn around and get right in Barnes’ face had everyone initially concerned.
Barnes didn’t move, presumably because he saw the non-threatening look in Randolph’s eyes.
Randolph gently head-butted Barnes, smiling the entire time, and hugged him around the back of the head, after reaching out for a handshake once he stepped away.
Clearly, Randolph not only thrives in a game where his opponents are overtly physical with him. As he showed with his interaction with Barnes, he respects and appreciates the effort.
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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