The Sacramento Kings are going to discuss a potential deal with Nemanja Bjelica, according to a report from Yahoo’s Shams Charania. The move is somewhat surprising after Bjelica backed out of an agreement with the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday.
Free agent forward Nemanja Bjelica -- who had agreed to a one-year deal with the 76ers -- informed the team on Monday that he will stay in Europe this season, league sources tell ESPN. He never signed his contract with Philadelphia.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 17, 2018
Forward Nemanja Bjelica and the Kings plan to begin discussing potential deal, league sources tell Yahoo Sports. Bjelica represents a shooter on the wing/frontcourt, and a long-term fit makes sense.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 18, 2018
Bjelica had initially agreed to a one-year deal with the Sixers for $4.4 million. It was rumored on Twitter that Bjelica didn’t want to uproot his family for a single season, only to have to move again.
Bjelica is best suited as a stretch four, so despite being another big man he would bring a skill set the Kings do not currently have on the roster. He has shot 37.1% from three for his career, and shot 41.5% from beyond the arc last season.
We will continue to update this story as it develops.
Sources: Kings GM Vlade Divac reached out to Nemanja Bjelica today to explain his value in staying in the NBA versus leaving for Europe. https://t.co/kwltJZ9rVx— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 18, 2018
I'm told Nemanja Bjelica felt devalued at $4.4M with PHI. Fenerbahce decided not to overload roster, CSKA have no interest at this time, SAC Kings can throw him more cash than his Sixers deal. This is a financial decision.— David Pick (@IAmDPick) July 18, 2018
The Kings could offer substantially more than Philly’s $4.4 million without using all their available cap space. The security of a multi-year contract could also be a big factor in securing Bjelica, as one of his main concerns was uprooting his young children for a short period of time before moving again next offseason.
Confirmed with Bjelica that the Kings contacted him. There has been no offer, just convo w/Vlade and Peja telling him he’s too good to go back to Europe. Other teams have expressed the same.— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) July 18, 2018