By Nikos Varlas/ email@example.com
Nicolo Melli is leaving Fenerbahce BEKO as Adrian Wojnarowski reported first and Eurohoops sources confirm. Melli is finalizing a two-season deal and will join the Pelicans after using the NBA opt-out option on the three-year contract he signed in 2017. Fenerbahce BEKO will receive a buyout.
The 28-years old Melli was also on the radar of the Atlanta Hawks in recent years and he has also been one of the key member of former EuroLeague champions, Fenerbahce. He won the Turkish league title in 2018 and the Turkish cup this year, after winning championship titles also in Germany and in Italy.
Melli averaged 7.3 ppg and 4.09 rpg this year, after a breakout season in 2018. In the EuroLeague final of 2018, Melli scored 28 points, which at the time was the most points scored in a EuroLeague Final by a player since 1985. Over 36 EuroLeague games played in total, he averaged 8.9 points, 5 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game.
Melli is a regular member of the Italian national team and for many years he was considered the next Italian player who will make the jump to the NBA after Danilo Gallinari. The two-year contract of Melli with the Pelicans is expected to pay him a total of $8 million.