Nemanja Bjelica
Nemanja Bjelica
30-Year-Old ForwardF
Sacramento Kings
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Bjelica saw the most run of his career last season with the Timberwolves, which was the third year of his NBA career. At age 29, he averaged 6.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 20.5 minutes per tilt. Notably, he shot over 40 percent from beyond the arc, drilling 1.1 threes per tilt. He also started 21 games in the wake of Jimmy Butler’s knee injury, averaging 10.8 points in those efforts, which included one 30-point double-double against the Celtics. This year, it’s unlikely he garners a bigger role with the Kings. he'll presumably be a backup to Marvin Bagley at power forward, and may be able to compete for some time at small forward. Plus, even when he garnered significant run last season, his upside was relatively low, save for one performance. So, Bjelica can probably be safely avoided in most standard Fantasy leagues in 2018-19. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a three-year, $20.48 million contract with the Kings in July of 2018.
Plays 26 minutes in return
FSacramento Kings
April 1, 2019
Bjelica (illness) put up 10 points (4-8 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 1-2 FT) and six rebounds in 26 minutes Sunday in the Kings' 113-106 win over the Spurs.
ANALYSIS
Bjelica missed the front end of the Kings' back-to-back set Saturday against the Rockets, but reclaimed his usual spot in the starting five in his return. The Kings held top backup Marvin Bagley (illness) out Sunday, so there's some risk of Bjelica seeing his minutes take a hit if both players are available in Tuesday's rematch with Houston.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
2015
Bjelica’s second year in the league wasn’t much different as his first, as he garnered just 18.3 minutes, providing 6.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. The 29-year-old also shot just 42.4 percent from the field and 31.6 percent from deep last season compared to 46.8 and 38.4 respectively two seasons ago. He likely won’t be in line for much of a workload boost heading into the 2017-18 season, either, as the Timberwolves added veteran power forward Taj Gibson to the mix over the summer, not to mention already-present Gorgui Dieng. Bjelica will seemingly have to fight hard in training camp to have any chance to boost his role. As a result, he can probably be safely avoided in seemingly every Fantasy format on draft day.
Though he was first selected in the 2010 NBA Draft, Bjelica didn't immediately transition into the NBA. Instead, he elected to remain in Serbia to hone his craft, and ended his Euroleague career as the 2015 MVP of the league. The 27-year-old finally made his NBA debut this season, and introduced himself to the league by drilling multiple triples in five of his first nine appearances. However, a knee injury ended up providing a roadblock in the rookie's season, and he subsequently fell out of coach Sam Mitchell's rotation before reemerging in April. Bjelica then sat out the 2016 Summer Olympics while recovering from a leg injury. He may get a boost from new head coach Tom Thibodeau as his three-point shooting could get him significant minutes as one of the top front court options off the bench.
Bjelica is entering his first season in the NBA after being brought over from Turkey this offseason. As a 6-10 small forward, Bjelica has intriguing size for his position and should challenge for spot minutes at both forward slots for Minnesota in 2015-16. Bjelica's averages for 2014-15 were 12.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.3 steals, and 0.8 blocks in 28 minutes per game. He shot 35 percent on three-pointers for his European club last season, while making 0.9 three-pointers per game, so a stretch-four role is not out of the question for the first-year-player, should he earn one. Bjelica also has the reputation as a point-forward in Europe, despite only 1.9 assists last season in Turkey, so it's possible he has some playmaking upside as well. There will be an adjustment to professional ball in the United States, but it will be worth watching Bjelica in training camp, as his skill set could make him an interesting prospect should he carve out a role with the Timberwolves.
More Fantasy News
Out Saturday
FSacramento Kings
Illness
March 30, 2019
Bjelica (illness) will not play in Saturday's game against the Rockets, Sean Cunningham of ABC 10 Sacramento reports.
ANALYSIS
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Won't return to Thursday's game
FSacramento Kings
Illness
March 28, 2019
Bjelica has been ruled out for the remainder of Thursday's game against New Orleans due to illness, Sean Cunningham of ABC 10 Sacramento reports.
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Grabs 17 boards in crucial win
FSacramento Kings
March 23, 2019
Bjelica put up 13 points (5-10 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 1-2 FT), 17 rebounds, five assists, a steal and a blocked shot across 36 minutes in Saturday's 112-103 win over the Suns.
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Double-doubles in favorable matchup
FSacramento Kings
March 19, 2019
Bjelica compiled 14 points (6-11 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 1-2 FT), 10 rebounds, three assists, and one steal in 28 minutes during Tuesday's 123-121 loss to the Nets.
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Role diminishes Sunday
FSacramento Kings
March 17, 2019
Bjelica had just eight points, five rebounds, and two assists in 18 minutes during Sunday's 129-102 victory over the Bulls.
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