NBA Rumor: Nemanja Bjelica Free Agency

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The more he thought about uprooting them from Minnesota, a place the family had found comfort in over three seasons with the Timberwolves, to move to Philadelphia for about eight months, the more he started to second guess his decision. That led to his decision on Monday to inform the Sixers that he would not be signing their offer and instead has turned his attention toward a return to European basketball. He was the Euroleague MVP for Fenerbahce in 2015. “It’s not about coach or the Philly organization,” Bjelica told The Athletic in a phone conversation on Tuesday. “Brett Brown, he’s a great guy and a great coach. The most important thing for me is family and some kind of stability.”

After reaching the verbal agreement with Bjelica, the Sixers were waiting for him to travel to Philadelphia to take a physical and sign the contract, The Athletic’s Derek Bodner reported. They have already added Wilson Chandler this summer and also have Dario Saric, Robert Covington and Ben Simmons to give them plenty of versatility in the frontcourt. “I made a decision too quickly,” Bjelica said. “It’s not about Coach Brown and the Philly organization. It’s just about me and my family.

The​ Timberwolves extended​ a qualifying​ offer to​ forward Nemanja Bjelica on Thursday,​ league sources​ told The​ Athletic, backing up Tom Thibodeau’s​ stated desire to​​ keep the sweet-shooting Serbian on the roster next season. The move ensures that Bjelica will be a restricted free agent starting Sunday, which gives the Wolves the opportunity to match any offer he receives on the open market. But Bjelica’s future in Minnesota remains very much up in the air.

He’s also mak­ing him­self some mon­ey. Bjelica is in the fi­nal year of a three-year, $11.7 mil­lion con­tract that’s a bar­gain in to­day’s NBA. He will be­come a re­strict­ed free a­gent in July, mean­ing the Wolves can match any of­fer he might re­ceive. Scouts from two teams that will have mon­ey to spend this sum­mer asked ques­tions a­bout Bjelica’s back­ground, at­ti­tude and tal­ent while at­tend­ing a re­cent Wolves’ games.

At some point, Wolves coach/pres­i­dent of basket­ball op­er­ations Tom Thib­o­deau, General Man­ag­er Scott Lay­den and, of course, own­er Glen Tay­lor must de­cide how much they can af­ford and with whom they can sur­round three play­ers earn­ing max con­tracts. “We’ve been plan­ning,” Thib­o­deau said. “We’re wor­ried a­bout not only now, but we have to be sure we put the best team on the floor we can. That’s a big part of this. The big­gest thing is ev­er­y­one con­cen­trat­ing on us win­ning. We don’t want to get lost in any­thing but chas­ing ex­cel­lence.”

Knicks interested in Nemanja Bjelica?

Nemanja Bjelica is ready to make the jump to the NBA, Minessota has his rights, but the New York Knicks are pursuing him and hope to get him via a sign and trade deal. According to Eurohoops sources, the Euroleague MVP has already decided to continue his career in the NBA. He has to sign his new contract until the 10th of July, the date his opt out clause in the contract with Fenerbahce/ Ulker expires. Bjelica has been in contact for a long time with the Timberwolves, however now the Knicks entered the picture.
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September 19, 2021 | 7:06 am EDT Update
Lakers legend Pau Gasol, Marc’s older brother, recently sat down with Spanish newspaper Marca as he discussed the future of his sibling. Pau’s response was cryptic, but it is clear that he is hoping that Marc returns to Spain: “Marc has earned the freedom and flexibility to make his own decision and he will do so when he decides,” Pau said (h/t Sam Yip of Fan Nation). “I know he has a lot of enthusiasm for Basquet Girona, a club in which I am also involved as vice president. He is in a different situation, because he is five years younger than me. We will see what he decides to do this season and later, I am also waiting.”
“I’ve been on him about things I need from him,” Billups said. “I said, ‘Nurk, I know you are going to be a free agent, and I understand you have to have a great year. You need me for you to have a great year, and I need you for us to have a good year. We need each other, right?’ “I’m going to give him every opportunity to have a great year. Because if he has a great year, that means we are a pretty damn good team. Because he is a good player. But that means he has to be focused and be in shape. Because you are only going to play as many minutes as you are physically able. If you are out there tired, uh-uh, come on, gotta get you out. There are good players behind you.”
It is unclear exactly what Nurkic and his role will look like under Billups, but to hear Nurkic talk, Billups has given him a vision of being more involved on both ends. Billups has been careful not to publicly define roles, but in general, he has preached that the offense will include more ball movement. “I just want to feel wanted, and I think I just need more support, and what I mean by that is different playing style, more inside-out game, more chance,” Nurkic said. “More chance to be successful and the position where they put you in. It’s all about the coach and where they put you, and I think Chauncey has figured out that certain people are going to have one to three points less, but the team is going to be way more successful with ball movement and playing together and be more fun. Even at the defensive end.”
Virtus Bologna’s win over LBA newcomer Tortona in SuperCup Quarterfinal game yesterday night was overshadowed by a serious injury occurred to Nigerian center Ekpe Udoh, who appears to have injured his patellar tendon in a no-contact situation. Former Fenerbahce center was taken out of the court in a stretcher and after the game coach Sergio Scariolo confirmed the seriousness of the injury, adding that the team will look for a replacement in the market: “He’s our cornerstone, both on attack and on defense. It’s dramatic, I hope that it serves to understand that you need to respect the players. Here there are stickers on the court everywhere, in the NBA it’s not the case. We will look for a replacement”.
Storyline: Ekpe Udoh Injury