By Nikos Varlas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
After an MVP season in the Euroleague and leading Fenerbahce/ Ulker to its first ever Final Four, Nemanja Bjelica seems ready to take the next step to his career and give the NBA a try.
In his 27 years of age, after a silver World Cup medal and his best yet Euroleague season, Bjelica is more ready than ever to cross the Atlantic with Minnessota holding his draft rights and himself being open to the possibility of playing in the NBA. His contract with Fenerbahce/ Ulker includes an NBA buy out clause, which can be used by the player giving no chance to the Turkish club to keep him, if he wants to go.
Minnessota is ready to make him an offer this summer. With many open spots in the team Bjelica, a rare combination of forward with guard skills can fit in. A contract somewhere between the three year deal (16,5 m.$) of Mirotic with the Bulls and the three year deal (10 m.$) of Bogdanovic with the Nets will be enough to get him. A significant buy out will be paid also to Fenerbahce, as the current contract of Bjelica runs until the summer of 2016. It’s an affordable deal by any account, considering also the raise of the NBA salary cup.
What can keep Bjelica in Fenerbahce? Only if Minessota decides to trade his rights – specially after the reports which are suggesting that Rubio may want to be traded – he may stay put. However there are signals from the States suggesting otherwise.