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Mitnick: Freeland & Claver Among NBA's New Euros To Watch

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A.J. Mitnick of SheridanHoops.com runs down some of the European players making their NBA debuts this season, including Portland Trail Blazers forward Joel Freeland and Victor Claver. ------------------------------------------- No. 3 -- Joel Freeland -- Eurostashed since 2005, this former first-round pick should be able to make a strong impact immediately for a Trail Blazers team that has retooled their roster. His strong proficiency for offensive rebounds and putbacks should give him plenty of opportunities to see some minutes as a rookie. He was one of the few bright spots for Great Britain in the Olympics, and should be one of the pillars of that program for the duration of his career. The fact that he could be a good combination with LaMarcus Aldridge will ensure that he will see the floor often as a rookie. ... No. 8 -- Victor Claver -- The ceiling for Claver may never be as high as many thought when he was selected 22nd in 2009 after suffering a serious ankle injury a couple years ago, but he is ready to contribute immediately. He can shoot, rebound and is a solid defender but doesn’t excel enough in one particular area to make him a standout player. He may not be a player to create for himself, but he knows how to take advantage of the opportunities presented to him throughout a game. A veteran of the Spanish National team, Claver won’t be the type of player to change Portland’s luck, but he can be relied upon to play in high pressure situations if need be. ------------------------------------------- ed: text edited, bumped to front page
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