|6th September, 2008||Serbia||Signed a three year contract with Crvena Zvezda.|
|24th June, 2010||Serbia||Left Crvena Zvezda.|
|2010 NBA Draft||NBA||Drafted 35th overall by Washington.|
|2010 NBA Draft||NBA||Draft rights traded by Washington, along with the draft rights to Lazar Hayward (#35), to Minnesota in exchange for the draft rights to Trevor Booker (#23) and Hamady N'Diaye (#56).|
|2nd August, 2010||Spain||Signed a five year contract with Caja Laboral.|
|22nd July, 2013||Spain||Left Caja Laboral.|
|22nd July, 2013||Turkey||Signed a three year contract with Fenerbahce. Included NBA out clause after 2014/15 season.|
|1st July, 2015||Turkey||Exercised NBA out clause.|
|13th July, 2015||NBA||Signed a three year, $11.7 million contract with Minnesota.|
|20th July, 2018||NBA||Signed a partially guaranteed three year, $20.475 million contract with Sacramento.|
|July 2018 - present||Sacramento Kings (NBA)|
|2007 - September 2008||Arkadia Lions (Austria)|
|September 2008 - June 2010||Crvena Zvezda (Serbia)|
|August 2010 - July 2013||Caja Laboral (Spain)|
|July 2013 - July 2015||Fenerbahce (Turkey)|
|July 2015 - June 2018||Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA)|
June 29, 2017
PF, 6’10, 240lbs, 29 years old, 2 years of experience
Bjelica had an important stretch role to play on the league’s worst three-point shooting team by volume, but dropped 6.8% on his three-point shooting percentage when shooting a higher volume. He gives it a go defensively, but is plenty beatable off the dribble regardless. Spotting up and occasionally working off the ball or the dribble is a useful role, but it is hard to ever see him ever starting anywhere.
Player Plan: One year at $3,949,999 remaining, thereafter with optional restricted free agency. Has a role to play at that salary, but not for much more than that unless he earns it over the course of the next season.
April 2, 2011
[Pape] Sow is likely out for the remainder of the season after suffering a pulmonary embolism of his own. This may mean an expanded role for Pneumonia Bjelica, the recent Timberwolves draft pick, but this is not necessarily a good thing. Bjelica is still all about hype and not about production; on the Euroleague season thus far, he is averaging 1.2 points, 1.7 rebounds and 2.1 fouls per game, shooting 25% from the floor. He remains overmatched at Europe's highest levels, and turns 23 in six weeks time. You'd think that if he really were that, the next Kukoc would be further along by now.
March 24, 2011
Unfortunately, Sow is likely out for the remainder of the season after suffering a pulmonary embolism of his own. This may mean an expanded role for Pneumonia Bjelica, the recent Timberwolves draft pick, but this is not necessarily a good thing. Bjelica is still all about hype and not about production; on the Euroleague season thus far, he is averaging 1.2 points, 1.7 rebounds and 2.1 fouls per game, shooting 25% from the floor. He remains overmatched at Europe's highest levels, and turns 23 in six weeks time. You'd think that if he really were that, the next Kukoc would be further along by now. (There is also a slim chance that Sow's illness may mean some minutes for draft prospect, Dejan Musli. However, it's very unlikely. Musli has played all of 2 Euroleague minutes all season, and has somehow recorded 5 fouls in that time. That's not a player you can trust in quarter final action.)
June 27, 2010
Pick 35: As Silver again slinks to the podium like a creepy lizard, the crowd switches up the chant to something infinitely funnier; "SE-XY-SIL-VER" *clap* *clap* *clap-clap-clap*. Adam is again reeling, and this time is unable to recover his composure. He savages Nemanja Bjelica's name mercilessly, resulting in a puerile concoction that resembled something like Pneumonia Beeyelleetsa. And because of Sexy Silver's misstep, that poor man will now always be associated with abnormal fluid build-up and inflammation in the alveolar. Bad times, Sexy.
As evidenced in part 1, I am not high on Nemanja Bjelica. It is not a baseless opinion; because of international commitments and the fact that he played for my favourite non-NBA team last year (Crvena Zvezda), I've seen Bjelica about 25 times. And he is not a young Toni Kukoc, not matter how much you hear that ienvitable comparison batted around. (Well, he sort of is, but only because Toni Kukoc is now 41.) Bjelica is instead more like a young Robbie Hummel, and no one gets excited about Robbie Hummel. He's a better pick than Loukas Mavrokefalidis was, and is acceptable at #35, but it is my opinion that you should temper your enthusiasm.
June 27, 2010
Pick 20: The San Antonio Spurs pick next, and Woj chimes in with the news that, were he healthy, Nemanja Bjelica would be their pick. Bjelica is one of the most overrated players in the draft. #20 is about 30 places too high. And besides, he just signed with Benetton Treviso for three years. (Although since the Spurs are renowned for their draft-and-stash tendencies, that probably doesn't matter.)
More teams should play the long game with international players, but they don't. While first rounders contracts are bound by the terms of the rookie salary scale, the rules states that if a player does not sign in the NBA for over three years after being drafted in the first round, then they are no longer bound by the scale. Everyone knows this rule, but no one does anything about it, which is why we see players like Tiago Splitter and Nikola Pekovic fall so far every year. But the Spurs, who picked Splitter, have the self-confidence to work with the rule in mind. Most executives are on short term contracts, which is why they make short sighted moves; they're trying to keep their jobs. But R.C. Buford of the Spurs surely knows of his job security, and drafts accordingly. And it's for that reason, plus a healthy dollop of common sense, that the Spurs are able to draft so well. It's a simple formula that so few others follow.
January 7, 2010
- Nemanja Bjelica
I've tried not to mention too many upcoming draft prospects in this list; if I was going to do them all, I would have spent a good 14,000 words or so declaring my undying love for Dogus Balbay already. But Nemanja Bjelica is one that I will cover, mainly because I don't quite get it.
On the season, Bjelica is averaging 5.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.1 fouls and 1.6 assists per game in the Adriatic League for Crvena Zvezda, alongside 6.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.4 fouls and 1.2 assists in the Eurocup. I have seen two Eurocup games of his this season, as well as multiple times in international competition for Serbia. And either I'm only catching him on bad dayys, or this guy is not the next Toni Kukoc after all. For all his supposed ball handling skills in a 6'10 frame, Bjelica never actually does any ball handling; more than anything, there's lots of standing in the corner, and very few touches. He defers the ballhandling to the better ballhandlers, which is kind of noble, yet also worrisome, because there always are some. He's not a very good shooter, is slender, and is offensively awkward. Can't say I see the intrigue here, really. Not until he refines his skill to the point that he can actually be a mismatch.