When the Boston Celtics traded away Enes Freedom at the February 14 trade deadline, it seemed like his NBA career was on the rocks.
Freedom had struggled for playing time with the Celtics throughout the first half of the season, and within days of being traded to the Houston Rockets, the veteran big man was waived and became a free agent.
Since then, numerous players have been signed to short-term contracts off the buy-out market, and others have received 10-day contracts with teams around the league. Yet, Freedom remains a free agent, and there’s been little noise about a potential return before the end of the season.
As the league continues to trend towards multi-skilled big-men who can stretch the floor, Freedom’s skillset is becoming antiquated, despite the fact that he’s one of the best offensive rebounders in the NBA when given the opportunity.
Freedom Has Unique Opportunity
While the NBA isn’t showing much interest in Freedom’s skill set right now, there are other organizations who would be more than happy to sign him to a deal – but it would mean retiring from basketball in order to make things work.
According to the veteran big, he currently has a contract offer on the table from a notable wrestling company, but he’s biding his time before making a decision.
“I already have an offer (to wrestle). I’m just trying to figure out what’s going to happen with this basketball thing. I’m 29 and I want to play another six, seven years in this league. I’m just going to figure out my basketball career first and then see what’s going to happen. I already have an offer, I’m just not taking it right now. I love basketball. I don’t want to quit basketball,” Freedom said during a recent appearance on HANG.
Freedom does have a history with wrestling, having previously made an appearance on WWE where he won the 24/7 title belt during an episode of RAW in 2019.
Freedom has Discussed Joining Wrestling in The Past
During the NBA hiatus of 2020, Enes Freedom took part in an interview with Stadium’s Shams Charania where he discussed potentially joining a wrestling organization once the curtain came down on his NBA career.
“I’m definitely becoming a WWE wrestler, for sure. I’ve actually already had offers from WWE, but I’ve got to finish my basketball career first. But after my career, I’m definitely becoming one (a wrestler),” Kanter said.
With the rise of All Elite Wrestling and its growing fanbase, there’s no telling which organization Freedom may eventually sign for. But, with his career prospects in the NBA already looking bleak, the 6-foot-10 former first-round pick may find himself swapping rebounds for clotheslines in the not-too-distant future.
Freedom has been in the NBA for 13 years and has participated in 748 games in his career, averaging 11.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 0.9 assists per game. Throughout his 13 years in the league, the Zurich native has represented the Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers, and Boston Celtics.
With the current season almost over, and the playoffs looming, if Freedom is going to find a new home in the NBA, it won’t be until the coming summer at the earliest.