The Portland Trail Blazers have been rumored to be interested in finding out what former draft pick Joel Freeland can do stateside. After five years of waiting, it sounds as though the team will finally be able to get their first look at him really soon.
The 30th pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, Freeland has spent his career in Europe to this point. That won't be the case next year, however, as his Spanish team announced on its website that the big man is headed to America to finally join the Blazers on what many report to be a three-year, $9 million deal.
Wendell Maxey, a contributor at SB Nation's Ridiculous Upside, has kept readers updated pretty regularly with news regarding Freeland -- including a report from earlier this year regarding the Blazers interesting in signing their draft pick.
At 25 years old, Freeland remains on Portland's radar even if a new contract extension comes into play. And while health issues should raise a red flag in any negotiations between the two sides, the Blazers front office is still a little cautious about what is fact and fiction coming out of Spain with Freeland while shoving any health woes to the side.
"We have been in contact with Joel's Spanish and U.S. agents all season long and are very aware of where things are at with his contract extension talks with Unicaja. These talks have no impact on our desire to try and bring Joel over to our team next season. When the season is over and we can begin to engage in more serious contract talks with Joel we will do so."
There were rumors that Freeland wanted to start if he made his way to the NBA, so this ought to be interesting.
For more on Freeland and the Blazers, visit Blazer's Edge.