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Former Blazers Center Enes Kanter Freedom Speaks Out on Free Agency

Freedom played for the Blazers from 2019-21.

Portland Trail Blazers v Denver Nuggets - Game Five Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

Former Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter Freedom is still looking for his next NBA home.

Freedom was traded by the Boston Celtics to the Houston Rockets right before February’s NBA Trade Deadline. Houston waived him shortly after. Since then, Freedom has been without a team, and he feels his outspoken nature is the reason behind his unemployment.

“Free agency is open for one month. Normally, I should have already received offers. This summer I did not receive one single offer,” told EuroHoops via Google Translate, “The reason is that I spoke out against what is happening in China in recent months. The Chinese market is a big part of the NBA business. So, they will allow talking freely about anything you want until it hurts them financially. As soon as you do that, they will cut you. It is very sad and unacceptable.”

Freedom last played for the Blazers in the 2020-21 season, where he averaged 11.2 points and 11 rebounds per game. Despite averaging a double-double just two seasons ago, there has been no desire for teams to sign him. However, the former Blazer believes he still has something left in the tank.

“I am 30 years old. I can play another five or six years. I don’t intend to retire,” Freedom said, “I can’t go back to Turkey, that would be a one-way ticket.”

Freedom has been in a feud with the Turkish government for years after the 11-year veteran spoke critically in the media against his home country’s leadership. EuroLeague’s affiliation with Turkey makes a European move challenging for Freedom.

“Keep in mind that I can’t enter Turkey and that Turkish Airlines is the name sponsor of EuroLeague,” Freedom said.

So, it appears Freedom’s options are limited. Europe and China appear out of the question, the NBA hasn’t come knocking, so the former Blazers center’s future is very much up in the air.