Joel Freeland

Free Agency Notes: Freeland, Bogdanovic, Millsap

Former Trail Blazers big man Joel Freeland has engaged in talks with NBA teams and could make a comeback after spending the last two seasons playing international ball, reports Chris Haynes of (Twitter link).

Freeland, 30, was a first-round pick way back in 2006 and joined the Blazers six years later for the 2012/13 season. However, his stint with the team lasted just three years — he appeared in 151 regular season games for Portland before heading back overseas and playing for CSKA Moscow for the last two seasons. He’s now a free agent.

Here’s more on free agency from around the NBA:

  • A league source tells Chris Miller of CSN (Twitter link) that Wizards RFA Bojan Bogdanovic is believed to be seeking a three- or four-year deal worth $16MM annually. That sort of money may have been available for a player like Bogdanovic in free agency a year ago when nearly every team had cap room, but I really don’t see him getting an offer in that range this time around.
  • Paul Millsap tells Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link) that the Hawks never formally offered him a contract. New Atlanta GM Travis Schlenk never sounded overly enthusiastic about making a competitive offer for Millsap, who committed to the Nuggets on Sunday night.
  • The Warriors still have their $5.192MM mid-level exception available, but Tim Kawakami of The San Jose Mercury News (Twitter link) is skeptical that the team will use it to sign a single player, suggesting the Dubs are more likely to split it up among multiple players — if they use it at all.
  • If the Bulls are serious about going all-in on their rebuild, it might make sense to let RFA forward Nikola Mirotic walk in an effort to downgrade next year’s roster and improve the team’s chances at a top-five pick, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times.

Western Notes: Russell, Gasol, Freeland

Spanish national team coach Sergio Scariolo believes there is still a chance that Grizzlies center Marc Gasol will play in this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio, as he told the Spanish media outlet (translation via Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype). “Marc is hoping to be there, but health comes first and the main thing is he recovers 100%,” Scariolo said. “When the time comes, he will tell us what’s his situation and his club’s opinion because with Marc there’s a lot of factors at play. I wish it was only up to him to make the decision.” While Scariolo’s comments were likely tinged with a dose of optimism, the mere possibility of Gasol being able to suit up and play this summer bodes well for the big man being able to be on the court for Memphis come opening night next season. Gasol is out for the remainder of the 2015/16 after undergoing surgery in February to repair damage to his broken right foot.

Here’s more from out West:

  • D’Angelo Russell tries not to think about the implications his performance could have for the future of the Lakers, but he believes that as he, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle play better, it helps the team’s case for free agents this summer, notes Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News“If we keep playing at a high level, the sky is the limit,” Russell said. “That could dictate who wants to come here and who feels like we don’t need to bring this guy here because we have such and such. We can play a certain part.”
  • Joel Freeland, who signed a two-year deal with the Russian club CSKA Moscow this past summer, said he had a number of NBA offers, including one from the Mavericks, but chose to head overseas because of the playing time that doing so would provide, Mark Woods of relays. “I wanted to play. I probably had four or five offers from the NBA, but at the end of the day, nobody would guarantee me minutes,” Freeland told Woods. “And I never knew what my situation was going to be, going to those teams. So I felt like this was my best option, especially coming to a team with a great heritage, a great organization and a team that’s hopefully going to be fighting for championships.” Freeland became a free agent last offseason after his rookie deal expired and the Trail Blazers declined to submit a qualifying offer to him.
  • The Thunder have assigned Josh Huestis and Mitch McGary to their D-League affiliate, the team announced. Huestis has appeared in 18 games with the Blue this season, averaging 11.9 points and 5.7 rebounds in 32.9 minutes per night, while McGary has made 19 appearances and is averaging 15.0 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 25.6 minutes per contest.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Western Notes: Davis, Blazers, Warriors, Warren

Anthony Davis seems to be completely on board with the Pelicans’ decision to bring aboard Alvin Gentry as head coach next season, John Reid of the Times Picayune suggests. After winning the championship as an assistant with the Warriors last season, Gentry looked into the national TV’s cameras while holding the Larry O’Brien Trophy and exclaimed to Davis that a title was in the duo’s future in New Orleans. Davis said he was impressed with the conviction shown by Gentry, according to Reid, and Davis also added that he’s excited about the mix of old and new assistant coaches that Gentry will be working with next season.

Given the brutal nature of the Western Conference, it might be a stretch to suggest the Pelicans will be in the same spot next year that the Warriors are in now, but with Davis locked in as the franchise’s cornerstone for at least five more seasons, New Orleans will have a shot to be great if they can continue to build around the 22-year-old phenom. We’ll look at more from out West below..

  • The Blazers didn’t have to trade any players over to the Cavs in the deal that netted them Brendan Haywood’s $10.5MM, non-guaranteed deal since they sent the minimum $75K in cash Cleveland’s way, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders points out in a tweet.
  • Portland renounced Joel Freeland‘s Bird Rights, Pincus also tweets. Freeland spent the last three seasons with the Blazers before deciding to sign overseas in Russia on a two-year deal with CSKA Moscow.
  • The Warriors should have a trade exception worth $5.4MM as a result of the trade that sent David Lee to the Celtics, Pincus observes in another tweet.
  • Jonathan Tjarks of RealGM concludes that given the Suns’ roster situation, they’ll need to see improvement from players they already have on the team, like second-year wing T.J. Warren, rather than bringing in new faces. It’s still not totally clear how Warren’s unorthodox game will translate to the NBA however, as Tjarks surmises.

Joel Freeland To Play In Russia With CSKA Moscow

MONDAY, 8:05am: The deal is official, the team announced (hat tip to Pick).

FRIDAY, 11:05pm: Freeland has signed a two-year deal with CSKA Moscow, and the pact contains no NBA out clause, Shams Charania of RealGM reports (Twitter link).

1:33pm: A source tells Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops that Freeland hasn’t agreed to a deal just yet, and will decide within the next two days (Twitter link).

THURSDAY, 8:51am: Joel Freeland has agreed to sign a guaranteed deal with Russia’s CSKA Moscow, reports David Pick of (Twitter link). Freeland had reportedly set a deadline of Friday to find an NBA deal before he committed to playing overseas, but it appears he’s making the jump a day early. The British big man’s contract with the Blazers ended last month, and Portland didn’t make a qualifying offer.

[RELATED: Blazers Finalize Deal With Ed Davis]

The Rafa Calvo client didn’t expect the Blazers to make that offer, but he expressed a preference to stay in the NBA. He’ll instead move to one of Europe’s most prominent clubs. Chema de Lucas of Gigantes del Basket first reported CSKA Moscow’s interest.

Freeland, 28, didn’t have much of a role during his three seasons with the Blazers, though he did make eight starts this past year while averaging 3.5 points and 3.9 rebounds in 12.8 minutes per game.

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Free Agent Rumors: Stoudemire, Hill, Butler

The free agent signing period is now in its second day, and here are the latest rumblings from around the league:

  • The Clippers, Rockets, Mavericks, Lakers, and Suns all have expressed interest in signing Amar’e Stoudemire as a backup big man, Chris Broussard of relays (Twitter link). Stoudemire is only interested in signing with the Clippers if DeAndre Jordan departs and he could become the starter, Ben Bolch of The Los Angeles Times tweets.
  • The Mavs will shift focus to pursuing unrestricted free agent Jordan Hill if the team misses out on signing Jordan, Jeff Goodman of tweets.
  • Having missed out on Greg Monroe, one of their prime free agent targets, the Knicks have been in contact with Hill’s representatives, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News writes.
  • Caron Butler, who was waived by the Bucks shortly after they had acquired him from the Pistons, is on the Knicks‘ radar thanks to his shooting ability and potential fit in the triangle offense, Marc Berman of The New York Post tweets. The Cavaliers have also been in constant contact with Butler, though no signing appears imminent, notes Ramona Shelburne of (Twitter link).
  • Unrestricted free agent Quincy Acy is garnering interest from the Magic, Kings, Pelicans, Hawks, and Spurs, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders relays (via Twitter).
  • Free agent Gigi Datome is split on whether to return to the NBA next season or to play in Europe, tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. The forward’s primary concern is playing time, not money, adds Himmelsbach.
  • The Mavs are back in play for J.J. Barea after he was leaning toward signing with the Heat Wednesday, TNT’s David Aldridge relays in a series of tweets. The point guard is seeking a three-year deal, Aldridge adds. Dallas is optimistic it can land Barea but is waiting for other free agents to make their decisions first, notes Tim MacMahon of (on Twitter).
  • Unrestricted free agent Joel Freeland said that he will sign with a European team if he doesn’t agree to an NBA contract by July 10th, Shams Charania of RealGM reports (via Twitter).
  • Center Kosta Koufos has received interest from the Mavs, Lakers and Kings, Kennedy tweets. The Bucks had shown interest as well, prior to signing Greg Monroe, Kennedy adds.
  • Free agent forward Derrick Williams is scheduled to meet with the Knicks and Mavericks today in Los Angeles, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports tweets.
  • The Pistons and Suns both made hard pushes to sign DeMarre Carroll, who instead inked a deal with the Raptors, Kevin Arnovitz of relays (Twitter link). Carroll was blown away by Toronto’s offer, its environment, and is a big fan of coach Dwane Casey, Arnovitz adds.

Northwest Notes: Malone, Russell, Bjelica

Michael Malone sought Wednesday to dismiss the idea that he and Pete D’Alessandro had a poor relationship during their time as coach and GM, respectively, of the Kings, as Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post writes from Malone’s introductory press conference as coach of the Nuggets. D’Alessandro, whom the Nuggets hired to a front office position shortly before they hired the coach, and Malone reportedly weren’t on speaking terms before Malone’s firing in Sacramento, but Malone insists they’ve maintained a consistent dialogue, as Dempsey relays.

“Pete and I have always respected each other, have always gotten along,” Malone said. “It was just that sometimes, the environment that we were working in was not conducive to a healthy relationship.”

That apparent jab at the Kings aside, there’s more on the Nuggets amid the latest from around the Northwest Division:

  • Ohio State playmaker D’Angelo Russell is working out for the Timberwolves today, a visit that the team pushed for as its maintained that he’s a consideration for them with the No. 1 overall pick, reports Chad Ford of (Twitter link).
  • Wolves draft-and-stash prospect Nemanja Bjelica has told the manager of his Turkish team that he wants to head to the NBA, and the Fenerbahce Ulker team official assumes that Bjelica, the Euroleague MVP, won’t be back with the club (video link; translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia).
  • Joel Freeland doesn’t expect the Blazers to tender him the nearly $3.767MM qualifying offer it would take for the club to make him a restricted free agent this summer, as Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group hears (Twitter link). If that’s the case, he’d become an unrestricted free agent, but while the native of England is reportedly drawing interest from overseas, he’s said he’d prefer to stay in the NBA.
  • Nuggets team president Josh Kroenke, with duties that entail the work of ownership as well as those usually assigned to a GM, is clearly the man who calls the shots in Denver, as Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post observes.

Northwest Notes: Aldridge, Freeland, Jenkins

The Blazers‘ offseason will revolve around whether LaMarcus Aldridge re-signs with the franchise or departs as an unrestricted free agent, Jabari Young of writes in his season review for the talented forward. Aldridge hopes to make his free agency decision as quickly as possible, and though he has expressed warm feelings toward Portland, the veteran hasn’t committed to returning, Young adds. “I’m definitely not one to prolong things and drag it out,” said Aldridge. “That’s not really my personality. I think if me and my agents can figure it out fast, then of course we will,” Aldridge continued, saying, “I love being here and [am] thankful for everything that this city has given me,” he said. “I am thankful for my time here. It’s been an amazing nine years, of course I’m not trying to have that end, so when the time comes we’ll sit down with my agent, [Blazers GM Neil Olshey] and [owner Paul Allen] and we’ll just figure it out.

Here’s more from the NBA’s Northwest Division:

  • The Jazz have workouts scheduled on Wednesday for Gary Bell Jr. (Gonzaga), T.J. McConnell (Arizona), Askia Booker (Colorado), Shaquielle McKissic (Arizona State), R.J. Hunter (Georgia State), and Nick Paulos (UNC Greensboro), the team announced (via Twitter).
  • Michael Jenkins, who was in training camp with the Thunder prior to the 2014/15 season, signed a two-year, $1MM deal with the Turkish club Turk Telekom, David Pick of tweets. The deal includes an NBA out clause, Pick adds.
  • Euroleague club CSKA Moscow is interested in signing Blazers big man Joel Freeland, Chema de Lucas of reports (translation by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). Freeland can become a restricted free agent this summer if Portland tenders him a qualifying offer worth $3,766,890. The 28-year-old appeared in 48 contests for the Blazers this past season, averaging 3.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in 12.9 minutes per game.

Northwest Notes: Freeland, Jazz, Draft

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 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.

Northwest Notes: Nuggets, Freeland, Wolves

There’s only one Northwest Division team in the playoffs, but it’s been a newsy day around the division, with the Thunder’s apparent interest in UConn coach Kevin Ollie as a possible replacement for Scott Brooks perhaps the most significant story. Concerns in the Blazers locker room about whether LaMarcus Aldridge will re-sign loom over Portland, while another team already has a coaching vacancy, and we’ll pass along the latest from Denver and other Northwest locales here:

  • The Nuggets would prefer a coaching veteran to fill their vacancy, as Sean Deveney of The Sporting News writes within a larger look at the offseason ahead in Denver. Ty Lawson is probably staying put, Deveney adds, and the same can be said for Jusuf Nurkic, whom the Nuggets regard as a steal a season after he was the 16th overall pick.
  • British-born Joel Freeland hasn’t played a large role for the Blazers in the three years since he came over from playing in Spain, but as his contract nears an end, he would prefer to remain in the NBA and with the Blazers, as he told Chema de Lucas of Gigantes Del Basket (translation via Mark Woods of Portland can match offers for Freeland in free agency this summer, but that only applies to offers from other NBA teams, not overseas clubs, and the Blazers would first have to tender a qualifying offer of nearly $3.767MM.
  • Flip Saunders said today that the Wolves will have a strong prospect regardless of whom they draft with their first-round pick, which could fall between No. 1 and No. 4, but Michael Rand of the Star Tribune figures the coach/exec must hope he can land a big man. Rand argues that’s because of the injury history of Nikola Pekovic, who’s under contract through 2017/18. Top two prospects Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor are big men and the players widely projected to go next are guards Emmanuel Mudiay and D’Angelo Russell. Saunders said he’ll draft the best available talent rather than for position.

West Notes: Augustin, Freeland, Asik, Kings

There are 16 teams in action tonight in what is largely an East Coast-based slate. We do have five Western Conference teams playing, however, including the Suns and Lakers later tonight. Let’s take a look at what else is going on out West on Tuesday night:

  • The Timberwolves don’t appear to be targeting D.J. Augustintweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities. The Raptors waived Augustin to make way for yesterday’s trade, and the Bulls are the front runners to land him.
  • Joel Freeland looks much tougher than he did last year, and Chris Haynes of wonders if it stems from a fight he and Luke Babbitt had during practice late last season. For what it’s worth, Freeland has become a mainstay in the Blazers‘ rotation, and Babbitt is out of the league.
  • The Rockets are targeting a proven veteran small forward in an Omer Asik trade, one of the many kinds of assets the team is looking for as it seeks to deal its backup center, as HoopsWorld’s Steve Kyler notes. Kyler also examines the Thunder’s approach to player development.
  • Speaking of Asik, the Rockets center is changing agents, switching from Andy Miller to the high-powered Arn Tellem of Wasserman Media Group, reports Ken Berger of CBS Sports. As Berger details, Tellem must wait 10 days before his representation of Asik becomes official. Assuming the proper paperwork is submitted today, Tellem can take over for Asik on December 20th, which is a day after Houston’s original target trade date of the 19th. It is also worth noting that Miller has taken legal action in the past when his clients have been poached.
  • Responding to news that the campaign for a vote on the Kings‘ arena subsidy has turned in up to 40,000 signatures for their cause, Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson cautioned the public that the group is “not folks who have Sacramento’s best interests in mind,” reports Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee.