Bjelica turns down 76ers, opts to stay in Europe

NBA.com Global on Jul 18, 2018 06:58 AM
Bjelica turns down 76ers, opts to stay in Europe
Nemanja Bjelica NBA file photo

NBA.com staff report

Weeks ago, the Philadelphia 76ers reportedly agreed to a deal with free-agent forward Nemanja Bjelica to join the team on a one-year deal. However, it appears he will not be joining them -- or any other NBA team next season -- so he can stay in Europe.

According to multiple reports, Bjelica will not be officially signing with the Sixers. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter) that Bjelica intends to stay in Europe next season and informed the team of his decision this morning.

Additionally, Bjelica had some issues with his visa that prevented him from taking the required physical before signing his deal with the Sixers. Keith Pompey of Philly.com has more:

Nemanja Bjelica’s tenure with the 76ers ended before it even started.

The 6-foot-10 Serbian forward informed the team this morning that he wants to remain in Europe this coming season. Bjelica played for the Minnesota Timberwolves the past three seasons and reached agreement July 5 with the Sixers on a one-year, mid-level exception for $4.45 million.

Bjelica flew to Europe when the Timberwolves’ season ended and was scheduled to have a physical with the Sixers last week. The team said that visa complications prevented Bjelica from taking the physical.

Last season, Bjelica averaged 6.8 points and 4.1 rebounds per game in 61 games. In March, Bjelica was a starter as Wolves' star Jimmy recovered from a meniscus injury. In 13 starts that month, Bjelica averaged 11 ppg, 6.8 rpg and shot 43.4 percent from three-point range.

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