Center Joel Freeland can become a restricted free agent this summer if the Blazers tender him a qualifying offer worth $3,766,890, and Sean Meagher of the Oregonian, along with a panel of writers, runs down the case for the team to retain the big man. While Freeland’s numbers don’t stand out, he can be a solid backup when healthy, the panel notes. Working against Freeland is the fact that he is relatively easy to replace, though there is mutual interest in the 28-year-old returning to Rip City next season, the writers add.
Here’s more from the Northwest Division:
- The Jazz interviewed UNLV’s Christian Wood, Arizona’s Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and Chris McCullough of Syracuse, Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune relays in a series of tweets. Also scoring an interview with Utah was Notre Dame point guard Jerian Grant, Jones adds.
- Arizona forward Stanley Johnson is set to interview with representatives from the Jazz on Saturday, Jones tweets.
- The Jazz also have an interest in Cameron Payne, and the team is expected to bring him in for an individual workout, Jones adds (Twitter link). Utah also wants to schedule individual workouts with Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky and Kansas swingman Kelly Oubre, Jones relays.
- The Trail Blazers interviewed Arkansas’ Bobby Portis and Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell, both forwards, Jabari Young of CSNNW.com relays (Twitter links).
- Duke point guard Tyus Jones met with the Timberwolves today, Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune writes. Jones, who is a native of Minnesota, dished on his excitement about joining the NBA, Zgoda relays. “Every kid who plays basketball dreams it, but it’s one of those things that might not seem realistic,” Jones said. “You don’t necessarily see a lot of guys from Minnesota go to the NBA. Especially for me, being out of Apple Valley, it doesn’t seem like it’s possible. But it’s just one of those things: If you work hard, put your mind to something, you can do it. I’m proud to be from Apple Valley, Minnesota, and I’m very excited about this opportunity.”