Wolves make it official, team introduces European star Nemanja Bjelica

Author:
Updated:
Original:

The Minnesota Timberwolves officially introduced their newest member on Wednesday. Five years after Nemanja Bjelica was drafted into the NBA, the Wolves finally announced his signing on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-10 Serbian forward spent the last five years refining his game in Europe and now Wolves coach and president Flip Saunders says Bjelica comes to the NBA with a chance to make an impact.

Bjelica was the European Basketball League MVP last season – averaging nearly 12 points and eight rebounds a game. He also shot better than 50 percent from the floor.

The Wolves originally acquired the big man in a draft-day trade with the Washington Wizards in 2010. But Saunders officially signed the 27-year-old last month, noting the Bjelica had really worked to improve in that time.

"To his credit, with what he's been able to do these last five years in developing his game, he's put himself in a situation to not only come to the NBA, but to have a huge impact within the NBA and within our organization," Saunders told reporters.

With his height, most would think Bjelica would probably fit in as a stretch four. But according to the Star Tribune, Saunders says not to pigeonhole him.

"The big thing is he's different than our players," Saunders tells the newspaper. "He can handle the basketball, he can shoot the three. He can move around the floor, run pick and rolls. We don't have anyone with his size who can do that."

Bjelica will wear No. 88 for the Wolves – a number no other member of the team has ever worn. FOX Sports Net reports that while no reason for the number was given, the number Bjelica wore in Europe, No. 8, is already being worn by Zach LaVine.

Next Up

u.s. district court minnesota - federal court minneapolis

Limits on in-person court activity extended for 45 days

The statewide order extends current limitations through March 15.

D'Angelo Russell / Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves need more from D'Angelo Russell

The Wolves haven't gotten what they expected since making a blockbuster trade.

oct. 20 snow crash

Spinouts, crashes still happening after snow leaves MN roads a mess

The snow storm caused at least 208 crashes this weekend.

1024px-Crock_pot

For The Week: Food tips and tricks to get you through the next 7 days

BMTN's food writer Lindsay Guentzel makes life easier for Minnesotans.

snow, plow

Here's how much snow fell in Saturday's storm in Minnesota

MSP Airport had the highest total as of 7 a.m. Sunday with 5.3 inches.

Screen Shot 2021-01-18 at 3.17.49 PM

No KAT? No D'Lo? No problem as Timberwolves defeat Pelicans

The Timberwolves were without Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell, but still picked up a (SCORE) win.

Screen Shot 2021-01-23 at 7.53.44 PM

Spinouts, crashes across Twin Cities as snow gets heavier

There have been multiple incidents across the metro area.

Mason Branstrator

Family, friends raising funds for teen soccer standout with spinal injury

Mason Branstrator of Duluth was injured in a skiing accident.

Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 9.08.16 PM

Tributes pour in after MN Supreme Court justice's daughter found dead

Olivia Chutich died near the campus of Iowa State University.

Image from iOS (96)

Early Saturday fire damages Burger King in Richfield

The fire was reported around 1:15 a.m. Saturday.

Related