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.
Scores just seven points Monday
FSacramento Kings
February 4, 2019
Bjelica tallied seven points (3-7 FG, 1-5 3Pt), three rebounds, and one steal in 21 minutes during Monday's 127-112 victory over San Antonio.
ANALYSIS
Bjelica ended Monday's game with just seven points in 21 minutes. He has scored in single-figures in 11 of his past 13 games and his time in the starting unit could soon come to an end. Marvin Bagley is firing on all cylinders at the moment and if you are holding onto Bjelica in any 12-team leagues, he can safely be dropped.
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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
Nears double-double in win
FSacramento Kings
January 31, 2019
Bjelica put up 12 points (5-11 FG, 2-4 3Pt), eight rebounds, two assists and one steal in 21 minutes Wednesday in the Kings' 135-113 win over the Hawks.
ANALYSIS
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Fills stat sheet in Friday's win
FSacramento Kings
January 25, 2019
Bjelica chipped in 17 points (6-10 FG, 4-4 3Pt, 1-3 FT), 11 rebounds, three blocks, two assists, and one steal in 33 minutes during Friday's 99-96 win over the Grizzlies.
ANALYSIS
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Returns to starting five
FSacramento Kings
January 25, 2019
Bjelica will start Friday against the Grizzlies, Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee reports.
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Absent from injury report
FSacramento Kings
January 24, 2019
Bjelica (back) was removed from the Kings' injury report ahead of Friday's game against the Grizzlies.
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Ruled out Tuesday
FSacramento Kings
Back
January 22, 2019
Bjelica (back) will not play Tuesday against the Raptors, James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
ANALYSIS
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