UCLA says Freeman plans to choose another school in time to play next season.
New Bruins coach Steve Alford says he's supportive of Freeman's decision and that a mutual parting of the ways is the best solution.
Freeman, a 6-foot-4 guard, recently completed his senior season at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., where he led the school to a 54-game winning streak. He played his first three seasons at Olympic High in Charlotte.
Freeman was one of three early signees under Howland. Forward Noah Allen of Salinas, Calif., and Zach LaVine of Bothell, Wash., are the others.
Howland was fired in March after 10 years that included three consecutive Final Four appearances.