Minnesota Timberwolves fans have to be giddy watching EuroBasket 2015 thus far, as big man Nemanja Bjelica has been the early star of the tournament.
Playing for a strong Serbian squad, Bjelica put forth a monster performance in their EuroBasket opener, notching 24 points and 10 rebounds in an impressive victory over Spain on Saturday:
Text from NBA scout at Serbia-Spain: "(Bjelica) flat-out stud. Better than Mirotic. Knows how to play. Has a feel one can't teach." #twolves
— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) September 5, 2015
The 27-year-old’s encore effort on Sunday wasn’t quite as notable in terms of numbers (12 points and three rebounds), but he hit the game-winning shot in the final second to beat Dirk Nowitzki and Germany:
PROFESSOR BIG SHOTS pic.twitter.com/AO05J8GdST
— Zach Harper (@talkhoops) September 6, 2015
The Wolves acquired Bjelica on draft-night 2010 after he was selected 35th overall by the Washington Wizards (good job, David Kahn!). He’s been playing overseas since then, but he finally agreed to a contract with Minnesota this summer, joining the Wolves on a three-year deal worth nearly $12 million.
Minnesota has a stable of solid bigs, but Bjelica is showing why he should have a spot in the rotation as a stretch 4. Be sure to keep an eye out for the big Serb as EuroBasket continues over the next few weeks.