Report: Sixers sign Nemanja Bjelica to one-year deal

Nemanja Bjelica Sixers

The Philadelphia 76ers might have found their replacement for Ersan Ilyasova.

According to Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated, the Sixers have reportedly signed former Minnesota Timberwolves forward Nemanja Blejica to a one-year deal using the room mid-level exception.

The Sixers’ mid-level exception is worth $4.49 million, which Blejica will be receiving this upcoming season.

This pending deal along with others, cannot become official until Friday when the free agency moratorium period ends. 

At the start of the free agency, Blejica was an unrestricted free agent. However, his free agent status changed a few days later, when the Timberwolves signed Anthony Tolliver to a contract.

Therefore, Minnesota withdrew their qualifying offer to Blejica, making him an unrestricted free agent.

This past season, Blejica gave the Timberwolves quality minutes off the bench, averaging a career-high 6.8 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. The Serbian big man also shot 46.1 percent from the field and 41.5 percent from three-point range on 2.7 attempts per game.

As previously mentioned, the 6-foot-10 Blejica will help fill in the void left by Ilyasova, who was signed to a three-year deal at the start of the free agency by the Milwaukee Bucks.

Just like Ilyasova, he can stretch the floor and will give you some effort defensively.

With the Timberwolves last season, Blejica had a defensive rebounding percentage of 18.8, which is okay for a big man who averaged 20.5 minutes a game.

Nevertheless, it appears as if Blejica will be the final signing by the Sixers in free agency due to the limited amount of cap space they have. 

On Tuesday, the team reportedly acquired Wilson Chandler in a trade with the Denver Nuggets, who is set to make $12.8 million next season. Then they followed that move up on Wednesday with the re-signing of Amir Johnson to a reported one-year deal worth the veteran’s minimum.

Even though the Sixers did not get the star that they were searching for in this year’s free agency, they did add a nice blend of veteran players to their very talented young core.