- National Teams
Great Britain forward Joel Freeland has said despite the lockout he knows the Portland Trailblazers continue to keep an eye on his progress in Spain.
Freeland reiterated he’s in no rush to play in the NBA with the team who drafted him with the 30th pick in the 2006 draft, but said it’s “definitely a place I want to be”.
“(The NBA) is a goal of mine, but I’m still going to weigh my options,” Freeland told HoopsHype. “We’ll see what happens next year. The NBA is definitely a place where I want to be. If I feel like I’m 100 percent ready and I’ve got the opportunity to make the step, I’ll make the step. If not, I’ll continue doing what I’m doing.
“(The Blazers) came over to see me maybe four, five times. We had some dinners, some meetings and everything. Overall it was good. I haven’t had much of communication lately because of the lockout. I know they are keeping an eye on me and they got me in mind, so we’ll see what happens.”
Freeland has become one of the centerpieces of Spanish powerhouse Unicaja, a team he led in scoring in the Euroleague in 2010-11. The Brit big man knows his role would be much different in the NBA, though.
“Going to a place like that, I have to start from scratch and build my way up,” Freeland said. “I’ll have to go there and prove myself as a player, so I’m going to have to do things that other players don’t really want to do: rebound, play defense… And this is a big factor, this is why I’m here now trying to improve my defense and all these other things, like rebounding.”
The Unicaja Malaga star will open up his season against Gran Canaria this weekend, after a solid pre-season which saw him lead the team in scoring on multiple occasions as they went for 6 wins, 1 loss and 1 draw.
Read the full interview over at HoopsHype.
Image Credit: Mansoor Ahmed Photography