July 20, 2018, 10:09 pm
The Kings and free agent forward Nemanja Bjelica have agreed to a three-year, $20.5 million deal according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports. The third year of the deal is non-guaranteed.
Bjelica originally agreed to a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Sixers before backing out and expressing his desire to return to Europe. The Kings, however, reached out to Bjelica and convinced him to stay in the NBA by offering him a long-term deal.
He spoke to Yahoo Sports about signing with the Kings and Vlade Divac’s influence on his decision:
“I spent a lot of time talking with Vlade and as an icon in our country, he has a unique perspective on what it takes to put yourself in a successful NBA situation and what it takes as a player to perform in that situation,” said Bjelica. “The organization’s belief in and commitment to me overwhelmed me and my family. I am ready to do everything I can to help the Kings and be a part of the Sacramento community.”
Bjelica spent extended time at the small forward spot last season, and early indications are that he’ll slot in there for the Kings. His ability to stretch the floor will be valuable for the team, no matter what forward spot he’s at.
The 30-year-old joins guard Yogi Ferrell as the Kings’ two free agent signees today.