Euroleague MVP Bjelica officially uses out clause, likely to join Timberwolves


This past season's Euroleague MVP exercised an opt-out in the contract with his Turkish team and appears poised to join the Timberwolves.

Nemanja Bjelica's club announced the 27-year-old's move Wednesday (note: that link is in Turkish).

According to Google Translate, it says Bjelica used the exit option in his contract so he could continue his career in the NBA. The team also thanked him for his contributions and wished him success.

Jerry Zgoda with the Star Tribune says the Wolves will likely get him on a three-year deal worth $12 million or more, using up the majority of the team's mid-level exception.


Bjelica is a 6-foot-10 stretch forward from Serbia who most recently played with the Turkey-based team Fenerbahçe Ülker. He was taken with the 35th pick of the 2010 NBA draft by the Washington Wizards, who then traded his draft rights to the Timberwolves.

During his 2014-15 MVP season with Fenerbahçe Ülker, Bjelica averaged 12.1 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, while playing an average of 27.8 minutes. He shot 35 percent from behind the 3-point line while appearing in 29 games. He's widely described as having a point guard's game in a big man's body.

The Euroleague is considered the top professional league outside of the NBA.

If he winds up in Minnesota as expected (though the Timberwolves could trade his rights), he'll come to a crowded frontcourt.

At center, there's Nikola Pekovic, Karl-Anthony Towns and Gorgui Dieng; and at power forward, Adreian Payne and Anthony Bennett – plus Kevin Garnett, who is expected to re-sign with the team.

Earlier this week, head coach and president of the Wolves Flip Saunders said Bjelica will be on the roster this upcoming season.

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