HoopsHype: Joel Freeland's Agent Says D-League Assignment "Makes No Sense"

Streeter Lecka

The agent for Portland Trail Blazers forward Joel Freeland isn't thrilled his client was sent down to the D-League's Idaho Stampede.

HoopsHype.com reports that Rafa Calvo, agent for Joel Freeland, isn't thrilled with the Portland Trail Blazers' decision to send the British forward down to the Idaho Stampede on assignment this weekend.

Joel Freeland's camp is not happy with the D-League assignment. "It makes no sense for him to play there in order to adjust to the NBA considering he has been one of the top big men in the Euroleague for three years," agent Rafa Calvo told HoopsHype. "It would make more sense if he had been injured and needed games to get into rhythm. Anyway, we want to be positive about it. Let's hope we're wrong and this helps the Blazers regain the faith they've always proved to have in Joel."

The Blazers assigned Freeland and fellow rookie Victor Claver to the Stampede on Friday for games on Friday night and Saturday night. Freeland was the headliner for Friday's 105-91 win over the Santa Cruz Warriors.

Joel Freeland, assigned just today to the Idaho Stampede from the Portland Trail Blazers, scored 22 points and added 11 rebounds as the Idaho Stampede won their first game of the year, a 105-91 final at CenturyLink Arena in downtown Boise. Victor Claver, also assigned today after a two-game assignment last weekend from Portland, had 11 points, nine rebounds and five steals for Idaho (1-6).

The Blazers officially signed Freeland, a 2006 first-round pick, back in July. He's averaging 2.2 points and 1.8 rebounds in 10.2 minutes per game this season and received two straight DNP-CDs before his assignment to Boise.

The Blazers announced a single affiliation with the Stampede back in May. They hired high school coach Michael Peck to coach the team. Peck joined the Blazers for training camp.

Portland next plays on Sunday night against the New Orleans Hornets.

Update: Blazers GM Neil Olshey explained his position on the D-League assignments to Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com, noting that Freeland and Claver had "great attitudes."
"I spoke with Joel this morning and he enjoyed the experience last night was glad to be back on the floor playing basketball. We will continue to utilize the Idaho Stampede whenever we feel the development of our players will be accelerated by the opportunity to play game minutes in a competitive setting."
Candace Buckner of The Columbian with a few more notes on Twitter regarding the assignment from practice on Saturday.
Claver and Freeland will be back from their brief weekend D-League assignment [Sunday] before the team's shootaround.

Blazers GM Neil Olshey said they'll continue to assign players to Boise. Blazers invested much into Stampede, might as well maximize it. The Boise trips have come in between Blazers games. Will use D-League to accelerate players' growth while they're not missing much here.

Only reason Will Barton didn't go to Boise this weekend was due to an ingrown toenail he needed to have taken care of. He didn't practice today.

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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