Warriors Rumors: Nemanja Bjelica Agrees to 2-Year Contract with Fenerbahce

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJuly 1, 2022

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Nemanja Bjelica's time with the Golden State Warriors has ended after only one season.

According to Turkish journalist Ugur Ozan Sulak (h/t Sportando), Bjelica agreed to a two-year contract with Turkish club Fenerbahce on Friday.

Bjelica previously played for Fenerbahce from 2013 to 2015 before making the move to the NBA.

Per Anthony Slater of The Athletic, the Warriors had interest in re-signing Bjelica to the veteran minimum before he decided to go back to Europe.

This comes after he signed a one-year deal with the Warriors ahead of the 2021-22 campaign after previous stops with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Sacramento Kings and Miami Heat.

Bjelica was looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2020-21 campaign when he joined Golden State. Injury concerns limited him to just 37 games during a season that saw the Kings trade him to the Heat. He averaged 6.5 points per game while shooting just 31.8 percent from deep.

Bjelica shot better than 40 percent from three-point range the previous two seasons for Sacramento as one of the best shooting bigs in the league. He also scored a career-best 11.5 points per game in 2019-20, but his value took a hit ahead of his time with Golden State.

Still, his ability to space the floor worked well with the Warriors' style of play, and they took a chance on him as a depth signing.

While he wasn't a major contributor for the champions this past season, he put up solid numbers at 6.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 16.1 minutes per game. He also shot 36.2 percent from three-point range and was durable with appearances in 71 regular-season games.

That proved key since James Wiseman was sidelined for the entire season.

The Warriors still have a strong core headlined by Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole, but the losses are already starting to pile up this offseason.

In addition to Bjelica, the Warriors have reportedly lost Otto Porter Jr. and Gary Payton II in free agency.

Bjelica is a loss the Warriors should be able to absorb, though, provided Wiseman returns healthy next season.


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