Warriors Add Sharpshooting Big Man on 1-Year Deal: Report

Nemanja-Bjelica

Getty Miami Heat forward Nemanja Bjelica during a game in May.

The gargantuan contract extension agreed to by Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors grabbed most of the headlines on Tuesday and rightfully so.

There were a pair of other players that the Dubs made deals with on the second day of free agency too though, including 33-year-old Serbian power forward Nemanja Bjelica.

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According to reports, the one-year contract is for the veteran’s minimum. Golden State also added 28-year-old forward Otto Porter to the fold on a minimum contract on Tuesday.


Warriors, Media Members Like Porter, Bjelica Additions

Draymond-Bjelica

GettyDraymond Green and Nemanja Bjelica during a game in January.

While NBC Sports Bay Area’s Monte Poole gave caution to fans about the pickups of Bjelica and Porter, he was a fan of the deals on the whole.

More importantly than what the fans and analysts think of the offseason additions is of course what the organization thinks, and according to the San Francisco Chronicle‘s Connor Letourneau, the Dubs are pumped about the addition of Bjelica.

“According to a league source, the Warriors have been interested in adding him for years and were ‘ecstatic’ that he was available on a minimum,” Letourneau wrote.

Bjelica was selected 35th overall by the Washington Wizards in the 2010 NBA draft but was immediately traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a four-player deal. In three seasons with Minnesota, Bjelica played 192 games (22 starts) and averaged 7.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 18.9 minutes per contest.

The forward signed as a free agent with the Sacramento Kings during the summer of 2018.


Golden State Reportedly Targeting Bjelica for Years

Bjelica

GettyMiami Heat power forward Nemanja Bjelica during a game in May.

NBC Sports Bay Area’s Drew Shiller reported Tuesday afternoon that the Warriors had been targeting Bjelica for quite a while.

“The Warriors reportedly were interested in acquiring Bjelica before last season’s trade deadline, but the Miami Heat ended up landing the Serbian native,” Shiller wrote.

Bjelica played in 175 games – including 138 starts – with the Kings over two-plus seasons, before being moved to the Miami Heat at the 2021 trade deadline. During his tenure in Sacramento, Bjelica saw all of his numbers go up, as he averaged 10.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 24.2 minutes per game, while posting a solid shooting line of 47.8/40.0/78.4.

“Bjelica appeared in just 37 games in 2020-21, and his production fell off,” Shiller wrote. “But he had the best season of his career in 2019-20 when he averaged 11.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 0.9 steals over 72 games (67 starts) with the Sacramento Kings, while shooting 41.9 percent from beyond the arc.”

With draft picks Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody selected last week, Curry now re-upped for four more years, and the additions of Bjelica and Porter, the Warriors’ 2021-2022 roster may ever so slightly be rounding into shape.

READ NEXT: Warriors, Stephen Curry ‘Soon’ to Agree on Contract Extension: Report


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