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Sheridan Hoops: Joel Freeland #1 best unsigned draft pick, Claver #8

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Nick Gibson of Euroleague Adventures (born in the US but now lives in Barcelona as a writer and commentator for BBC Radio) wrote a post for Sheridan Hoops about the best unsigned draft picks held by teams in the Western Conference. His verdict: 1. Joel Freeland, PF, Portland. European Club: Unicaja (Spain). Odds He’ll Defect: 70 percent. "Those murmurs of discontent have matured into agitated roars in Freeland’s third year with Unicaja, as the team has made a habit of blowing its beefy budget on shoot-first, pass-third mostly American guards who rarely make it through a full season." [...] "Add a swift dismissal in the Copa del Rey, and Unicaja’s winless Euroleague Top 16 to his teammates’ lack of deference and yes, Joel Freeland is frustrated. This summer, however, Freeland’s a free man. " [...] That leaves Option B [signing with Portland] as the logical leader in the clubhouse. Unfortunately, Portland cycles through general managers like Unicaja does inoperative point guards, and it’s uncertain whether acting GM Chad Buchanan wants to bring the uber athletic Freeland into the fold just yet. --- 8. Victor Claver, SF, Portland. European Club: Valencia (Spain). Odds He’ll Defect: 55 percent. "Injuries have grounded Spain’s highest flyer intermittently, since just before the Blazers drafted him in 2009. Claver was supposed to have locked up the starting small forward role for the Spanish national team by now, but his on again, off again relationship with health has made it difficult to gauge his progress. With two strong legs beneath him, he’s a monster."

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