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Blazers Offered Joel Freeland This Summer?

Sources close to Joel Freeland told Blazersedge earlier this week that the Blazers made Freeland an offer to play in Portland for the 2009-2010 season.  

Asked this morning if he could confirm that the Blazers had indeed made Freeland such an offer, General Manager Kevin Pritchard told Blazersedge, "We looked at bringing him over. We had a bunch of really good discussions."

So why, then, is Freeland still in Spain?  Pritchard stated, "What we talked about is, 'is he ready?' We tend to believe he's getting closer than we think. He said, and I give the kid credit for saying this, he said 'I want two more years of really playing, not just going to an NBA team and potentially sitting.' He's in a great organization. He's getting better. He made a quantum leap this year. If he continues to make progress, we're going to have a good player." 

As we wrote earlier this summer, Freeland signed with the Spanish club Unicaja Malaga.  At the time, Kevin Pritchard stated, "I don't want to say that we brokered the deal, but we were always a part of that communication. Joel was pretty adament about going back overseas for a couple more years. He does absolutely want to come back to the NBA, he just wants more playing time, so when he comes he can be ready and we love that."

I wouldn't want to be the 47th string power forward either.

It's interesting to me how elastic Freeland's situation turned out to be. Less than six weeks ago, many observers, including myself, believed it possible, if not likely, his rights would be renounced.  And now here we are.

-- Ben (