Great Britain international Joel Freeland is set to sign a contract extension with Spanish club Unicaja Malaga, casting doubt on any potential move to the NBA.

The Aldershot-born centre had been expected to pursue a switch to the United States after the Olympics, six years after he was drafted by the Portland Trailblazers.

However his new agreement, which will kick in before the end of the current season, will see his salary increased by around 30 per cent – in line with a tax hike he will now incur after spending six years in Spain.

The so-called ‘Beckham Law’, enacted when footballer David Beckham joined Real Madrid, allows sportspeople to pay only the basic rate of tax for their first six seasons in the country before it jumps to the higher band.

According to sources in Malaga, under his new deal, Freeland would have to pay €2.4 million in a buyout if he wants to move across the Atlantic or to another European club next summer.

This season, the 25-year-old, who is averaging 19 points per game, has the second highest statistical rating in the ACB behind Alicante centre Kaloyan Ivanov.

He is expected to be one of the figureheads of Great Britain’s challenge at this year’s Olympic Games in London.

Pic: Mansoor Ahmed/ BB

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