HoopsHype Nemanja Bjelica rumors

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The Wolves have deemed Bjelica not ready for the NBA until now, partly because Kevin Love was their power forward previously and then because Saunders did not foresee ample playing time on a team that had just traded for power forward Thaddeus Young and Anthony Bennett. Young’s future is uncertain: This summer he can opt out of his contract’s final year, due to pay him $9.7 million next season. Bennett’s future as the team’s power forward of the future is no sure thing, either, judging by his uneven play this season. “The only reason we haven’t brought him over earlier is because of some of the veterans we have,” Saunders said. “It wouldn’t have benefited him here.” Minneapolis Star-Tribune

But last summer and this season in Turkish and Euroleague play is changing that opinion, whether the Wolves sign him to play with Rubio, Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine or use his rights as a piece in a bigger trade. “We’ve seen him and we’ll continue to see him,” said Saunders, who has had European scout Zarko Durisic see Bjelica play this season. “He wants to come over, he’s ready to come over. We’ll take another good look at him this spring.” Minneapolis Star-Tribune

December 16, 2014 Updates
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December 21, 2012 Updates

There's a good chance European forward Nemanja Bjelica is with the Wolves next year, so here's a scouting report from an executive who saw him recently: "Great wing scorer who uses length to score over defenders. Great touch from deep three and has a nice one-two dribble drive with a step back game. Offensively, he's solid and will score in the NBA. Defensively, he will struggle guarding quick 3s and 4s and he has to learn to play angles. He will struggle in this department though he can be coached up. But one can't correct slow feet. He's a great kid with talent." 1500 ESPN

August 3, 2012 Updates
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April 28, 2012 Updates

Kahn said he is in discussions to bring some of the team's drafted European prospects -- including forwards Nemanja Bjelica and Henk Norel and center Paulao Prestes, second-round picks all -- to Minnesota in June so Adelman and his staff can see them work out. He said one unnamed player might be ready for the NBA. Best guess is that it's Bjelica, a 6-10 point forward who has been compared to a poor man's Toni Kukoc but still probably is too soft for the NBA. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

May 4, 2011 Updates
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August 3, 2010 Updates

Timberwolves second-round pick Nemanja Bjelica on Monday signed a five-year contract with a buyout option to leave for the NBA after two years with Spanish club Caja Laboral, the team for which newly signed Spurs prospect Tiago Splitter played. That buyout option would place Bjelica, a point guard in a 6-foot-10 power forward's body, with the Wolves in 2012, which also could be the year Ricky Rubio joins them if the 2011-12 NBA season is lost, or mostly lost, to labor strife. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

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