14. Don Buse

Signing with the Indiana Pacers after a good college career at Davidson, Don Buse would emerge as one of the best defensive Guards of the mid to late 70s.  Buse was a role player as a rookie on Indiana's 1973 ABA Championship Team, and he would see more playing time when Freddie Lewis was traded to the Memphis Sounds.  Buse was the best Guard when it came to putting the rock in the bucket, but he was an excellent distributor and was a gem on defense.  In the last two seasons of the ABA’s existence, Buse was a First Team All-ABA Selection, and in the latter year, he was an ABA All-Star and a Second Team All-ABA Selection.  Not only that, Buse would lead the league in Steals and Assists.

The Pacers were one of the teams that merged with the ABA, and Buse was one of the players who cemented that the ABA was a talented bunch.  He repeated his feat by leading the NBA in Steals and Assists and was a First Team All-NBA Defensive Selection.  Buse was then traded to Phoenix but would come back in 1980, where he would gain his final First Team All-Defensive Selection.  He would retire with a 2.5 Steals per Game Average as a Pacer with a 7.7 PPG.

The Bullet Points

  • Position: Point Guard, Shooting Guard
  • Acquired: Signed prior to the 1972-73 Season.
  • Departed:

    Traded to the Phoenix Suns for Ricky Sobers 9/6/77.

    Acquired (2): Traded from the Phoenix Suns for a 1981 and 1982 2nd Round Pick (which would be Al Leslie and Jose Slaughter respectively) 11/25/80.

    Departed (2): Traded to the Portland Trail Blazers for Cash and the consultation services of Portland’s Vice President, Jon Spoelstra 1/7/83.
  • Games Played: 539
  • Per Game Averages: 29.1 MP
    .466 eFG%
    .779 FT%
    7.7 PTS
    3.0 RB
    5.1 AST
    *2.5 STL
    *0.3 BLK

    *Steals and blocks were not a stat until the 1973/74 Season.
  • Advanced Stats: 13.9 PER
    .501 TS%
    **15.7 VORP
    36.1 WS

    **VORP was not a stat until the 1973/74 Season.
  • Major Accolades and Awards:

    ABA Champion (1973)
    ABA All-Star (1976)
    NBA All-Star (1977)
    Second Team All-ABA (1976)
    First Team All-Defensive ABA (1975 & 1976)
    First Team All-Defensive NBA (1977 & 1980***)
    Most Assists (1975-76 & 1976-77)
    Most Steals (1975-76 & 1976-77)
    Most Assists per Game (1975-76 & 1976-77)
    Most Steals per Game (1975-76 & 1976-77)

    ***Buse was traded from Phoenix during the season
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