Roster Review | Nemanja Bjelica

F | 6-10, 240 lbs

2016-17 season: 65 games, 1 start, 18.3 MPG, 6.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 1.2 APG, 0.6 SPG, 42.4 FG%, 31.6 3P%, 73.8 FT%

In his second season with the Wolves, Bjelica (28) averaged career highs in minutes, points, rebounds and steals.

He hit double digits in scoring 15 times and also had three double-doubles.

Bjelica’s season-ending foot injury came during a hot stretch for the forward considering he was averaging 9.1 points and 6.9 rebounds in the nine games before that. 

In 2016-17, we saw a more comfortable Bjelica on both ends of the court and that’s to be expected in his second full season in the NBA after playing his whole life overseas.

We should expect a bigger jump in year three, especially as he gets more familiar with Tom Thibodeau’s sets on both sides of the ball. 

Top Three Games Of The Season

3.) Feb. 12, 2017 vs. Chicago Bulls

In a 117-89 home win over the Chicago Bulls, Bjelica finished with a bench-high 16 points to go with six rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block. He shot an efficient 6-for-12 from the field, 3-for-6 from the 3-point line and 1-for-1 from the free-throw line.

2.) March 13, 2017 vs. Washington Wizards

Bjelica finished with 16 points in this 119-104 home win over the Wizards. He shot 6-for-7 from the field, 1-for-2 from the 3-point line and 3-for-4 from the free-throw line. He also added nine rebounds, two assists and a steal.

1.) Nov. 13, 2016 vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Bjelica’s best game of the season came in his only start. In this 125-99 home win over the Lakers, Bjelica played nearly 41 minutes and finished with 24 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. He shot an efficient 9-for-15 from the field, 5-for-8 from the 3-point line and 1-for-1 from the free-throw line.

Top Offseason Objectives

The main objective for Bjelica is to simply get healthy. Bjelica’s season ended on March 15 after fracturing a bone in his left foot. He underwent surgery on March 21 and will be rehabbing throughout the offseason.

Role for 2017-18?  

In two years, Bjelica has appeared in 125 games, starting one. That role will likely continue for Bjelica. He should be a boost off the bench offensively with his playmaking abilities.

They Said It…

“You can tell right away. I’ve been in the gym with Belly a lot. We ran together, we got in shape together. Belly’s in the best condition he’s ever been in in his life and I’m proud to say. It’s just going to be a great year for Nemanja.” – Karl-Anthony Towns during training camp on the work Bjelica put in last offseason.

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