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Euroleague star forward Nemanja Bjelica has agreed to a three-year, $11.7 million deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
“I am excited to announce that I intend to sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves and fulfill my dream of playing in the NBA,” Bjelica told Yahoo Sports in a statement sent through his agent Arn Tellem on Monday. “Thank you Flip Saunders and the rest of the organization for the confidence you have shown in me. I’m looking forward to joining the team and helping it become a contender.
“Finally I want to thank my former club, Fenerbache, its players and Coach Obradovic for two wonderful years in Istanbul and all we achieved together.”
The Timberwolves are paying an additional $625,000 – the most allowable contribution – for his buyout clause in Europe, sources said.
Bjelica, a Serbian, is leaving European power Fenerbache of Turkey to join the Wolves, where at 6-foot-10 he’ll deliver them a significant ability to step outside and make shots. Bjelica, 27, is a versatile offensive player who’s expected to impact the Wolves immediately next season.
He averaged 12 points, eight rebounds and shot nearly 50 percent for Fenerbache.
Minnesota selected Bjelica with the 35th overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft.