Aging Corey Maggette faces long odds to keep getting to the free-throw line

Me at the Detroit Free Press:

Maggette’s most prolific skill is getting to the free-throw line. Unfortunately, that often is a skill that declines with age, and he’ll turn 33 in a month.

It seems 8.4 free-throw attempts per 36 minutes is a good benchmark for Maggette. That’s fewer than his career average, fewer than he attempted last year, and a mark he has met each of the last nine years. This is not setting an impossibly high bar for him.

But players like Maggette — small forwards or guards who are at least 33 years old and part of their team’s regular rotation — don’t average 8.4 free-throw attempts per 36 minutes often. Only Dominique Wilkins has done it since 1953.

Only five non-centers — Karl Malone, Adrian Dantley, Al Cervi, Jerry West and Corey Maggette — have had multiple seasons after age 30 with at least 8.4 free-throw attempts per 36 minutes. Four of those players are in the Hall of Fame.

In other words, it will take a historic effort for Maggette to match his usual free-throw rate.

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