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Freeland ready to step up - Deng

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Portland Trail Blazers new boy Joel Freeland has received the backing of Team GB team-mate Luol Deng as he prepares for his first season in the NBA.

The 25-year old Englishman was signed by Portland back in 2006, before further developing his game in the ever-improving leagues in Europe. Freeland will now have his chance in the big-time after completing his move to the US from Spanish team Unicaja Malaga.

While it will be anything but easy for the versatile forward to establish himself in the NBA, Freeland has been given the support of Chicago Bulls’ Luol Deng, who has seen up-close over the summer just how much the new Portland signing has improved.

Deng and Freeland were part of the Team GB side that competed at the Olympic Games in London, and the 2012 NBA All Star believes his fellow Brit has what it takes to be success in the toughest league in the world.

“I'm excited for Joel,” Deng said to nba news reporters.

“Everybody in Britain wants to play at the highest level and we all agree the NBA is that. He's done a tremendous job in Europe but it's time for him now. In the last few years he's grown so much as a player, and matured so much as a person, he's ready for it.”

Freeland will join a Portland side that has undergone plenty of changes during the off-season, not least in the shape of new head coach Terry Stotts, who has been tasked with establishing the Trail Blazers as a team capable of getting into the play-offs. Punters who bet on nba will be hoping Freeland can establish himself as a key part of Stotts’ plans over the course of the new season.
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