The Sacramento Kings steal Nemanja Bjelica from the Sixers and Europe, signing the forward to a three-year deal.
Nemanja Bjelica pulled the ol’ offseason swerve on the Philadelphia 76ers. Early in free agency, Bjelica and Sixers agreed to terms on a one-year deal that would pay him the mid-level exception. The 30-year-old forward backed out of the agreement, claiming he would be heading overseas to play in Europe.
Instead, he’s heading across the country to play in Sacramento. According to Yahoo’s Shams Charania, Bjelica signed a three-year deal worth $20.5 million with the Kings.
Go get that money, Nemanja.
Bjelica averaged 6.8 points and 4.1 rebounds with the Minnesota Timberwolves last season. Because he was a bench player for Tom Thibodeau, he didn’t play many minutes. However, when Jimmy Butler went down with an injury in February, Bjelica became the starting small forward. In 21 games as a starter, he averaged 10.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists. All while shooting 41 percent from three.
Why Sacramento would pay $20.5 million across three seasons for a guy on the wrong side of 30 is a different question. But if we tried to make sense of Vlade Divac’s reasoning after every move, we wouldn’t get a whole lot accomplished in our lives.
The Kings just traded away Garrett Temple, a similar player to Bjelica on a shorter contract, re-acquire Ben McLemore. Again, let’s not look for logic where there doesn’t appear to be any.
Sacramento needed help at small forward and, if nothing else, Bjelica can play small forward. For that reason, this is a good move by Sacramento. It’s not every day a player trusts the Kings process over The Process.