Trail Mix: Freeland not expecting qualifying offer from Blazers

(AP Photo/Don Ryan)

(AP Photo/Don Ryan)

The Portland Trail Blazers free agent puzzle has many pieces. And now they will reportedly be in search of at least one replacement piece. Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer and Northeast Ohio Media Group reported on Thursday that Blazers big man Joel Freeland doesn’t expect a qualifying offer and will be an unrestricted free-agent.

The news shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Not giving Freeland a qualifying offer allows the Blazers to have as much cap space as they possibly can heading into July 1st. They can make a big offer to Aldridge and then still have max-level cap room left over. But the only way they would be able to do that is by not tying up any money in Freeland.

Freeland is the team’s only restricted free-agent this summer. And now he will reportedly join the ranks of his former teammates as an unrestricted free-agent when July 1 hits. Freeland was having another solid season with the Blazers, even being inserted into the starting line-up for a few games before a shoulder injury essentially cut him out of the rotation.

It’s still possible we’ll see Freeland in a Blazers uniform and at 28 years old he’s not your typical restricted free-agent. His qualifying offer would have been around $3.8 million.

The Blazers held their fifth pre-draft workout on Friday morning featuring mostly second round or likely to be undrafted talent. Portland has a lot of cap space but if they are to pay big money to free-agents or even just bringing back their current free-agents, they will need to fill out their roster somehow. A second round pick would be an cost-efficient way to do it but the only problem is they currently do not posses one.

Chris Kaman only has one million dollars of his five million dollar salary for next season guaranteed and his salary is another one that could possibly be jettisoned to create cap space.

Jason Quick of The Oregonian released part two of his “The Rebuilding of Iron Man” series accompanied by photos from Bruce Ely. Matthews gets real about free-agency and it also features some quotes from Olshey on the process and how much of it is dependent on the decision of LaMarcus Aldridge.

And finally, in a blast from the past, it sounds like former Trail Blazer Sergio Rodriguez wants to come back to the NBA according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Rodriguez had some flashes in the pan in the NBA after being drafted by the Blazers but never really stuck in the league. During his time in Europe he has developed an outside shot that he didn’t have in his earlier NBA years.

According to Wojnarowski he is already drawing “significant interest” from NBA teams as a potential back-up point guard.

And on one final note that’s not really news, apparently one Northwest brewery is trying to think positive about LaMarcus Aldridge’s free-agency. Evans Clinchy of Blazersedge came across this mural advertisement from Seattle-based Pyramid Brewing in Northeast Portland and tweeted it out.

The hashtag #PortlandLovesLA has been frequently used on twitter. It will be interesting to see how many more of these advertisements or signs will pop up between now and the time Aldridge makes his decision. Or what effect, if any, it will have. But regardless of the result, the area isn’t wasting time in trying to keep their superstar.


Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen is the Trail Blazers beat reporter for The Columbian. He's a graduate of the Allen School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon in addition earning a degree in Spanish. He's covered the NBA for four seasons. You can also occasionally find his work on's NBA section for their TrueCities series. He also fist-bumped with Kanye West once. Follow @BlazerBanter on twitter for more Blazers and NBA news.

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