The Minnesota Timberwolves have have more talent on the way. The team has agreed to terms on a three-year, $11.7 million deal with Nemanja Bjelica, the 27-year-old Serbian forward and reigning Euroleague MVP who they selected in the second round of the 2010 NBA Draft.
The length of the deal was first reported by the AP's Jon Krawcyznski, while the contract value was added by Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.
Bjelica exercised an opt-out clause in his contract with Turkey's Fenerbahce Ulker last week, according to the Minnesota Star-Tribune's Jerry Zgoda. He spent the past two years with that club and averaged 12.1 points on 50 percent shooting and 8.5 rebounds in 27.8 minutes per game last season.
Bjelica confirmed the news to Yahoo! Sports with a statement through his agent, Arn Tellem.
"I am excited to announce that I intend to sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves and fulfill my dream of playing in the NBA. Thank you Flip Saunders and the rest of the organization for the confidence you have shown in me. I'm looking forward to joining the team and helping it become a contender.
"Finally I want to thank my former club, Fenerbache, its players and Coach Obradovic for two wonderful years in Istanbul and all we achieved together."
Bjelica is listed at 6'10 and 234 pounds. He's shot 36 percent from three during his European career and is projected to play as a playmaking power forward in the NBA.
"Bjelica is the most efficient and consistent player on his team," former 76ers general manager Brad Greenberg told Basketball Insiders in April. "He's unique because he can move with and without the ball, run the floor and start a fastbreak. He has isolation sets run for him, he can attack from the top and poses all sorts of problems.
"He is a power forward who can matchup against small forwards, but NBA teams would look at him as a tweener because he is long, can shoot and run like a wing."
Bjelica now joins No. 1 overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns and last year's Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins as part of a new core of talent in Minnesota.
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