Jacks Free Freeman, Choose Charles

  • By Tim Wallis, Day 121, 2022

PORTLAND - The Lumberjacks have traded their original starting power forward Cedric Freeman, along with veteran shooting guard Shaun Burrell and their first round pick in the 2023 draft to the Mexico City Jaguars in exchange for Lorenzo Charles, Reggie Burke, Corey Anderton and the first round picks of the Jaguars and Miami Cyclones.

"Cedric has been everything we needed him to be since day one," said Lumberjacks GM Tim Wallis. "He's set a great example on and off the court and he's playing some incredible basketball at the moment. We brought him in here to protect our young bigs and he's done an admirable job of that, but they don't look like they need protection anymore. Sylvester in particular has come on really quickly and we need to be investing minutes in those young guys as much as possible."

Freeman is averaging 10.2ppg and 4.7rpg in just 17.4 minutes this season, after starting 54 games last year (11.2ppg 6.9rpg in 28.6 minutes). Burrell has played sparingly over the last season and a half but has been a good locker room presence on the young team and has proven ready to step in and contribute when needed.

The trio of young players arriving in Portland all appear to be Portland types. They work hard, they're professional and they don't violate the team's "no dickheads" policy. Charles in particular could find an important role on his new team, with Portland long lacking perimeter defensive prowess from the two spot. Burke is a former teammate of Jarvis McSwine at Ohio State, their 2020 Buckeyes going 27-5 and advancing to the Elite Eight. Anderton is a solid young big, but will have a job ahead of him to stick with the team beyond this season.

The pick swap involves what is currently the 12th pick for the current 20th and 23rd picks. While the Portland front office is reportedly excited at the prospect of picking up two more contributors in the draft, there will be some criticism that the team did not wait until after the lottery to move down.