Nemanja Bjelica is a hard name to say; like a really hard name. That being said, it likely won’t be long til he’s a household name for Sacramento Kings’ fans. This offseason, former Timberwolves’ point forward, Nemanja Bjelica agreed to sign a contract with the Philadelphia 76ers. He then backed out of the deal with intentions of returning home to Serbia to play basketball overseas. With some sweet words from fellow Serbian and Kings’ general manager, Vlade Divac, Bjelica finally decided to return to the NBA a member of the Sacramento Kings.
Filling the role of previous fan favorite Omri Casspi, Bjelica has been off to a red-hot start to the season. Eleven games into the year, he’s currently averaging career highs in all five major statistical categories, and by a lot too. Not only has his production increased greatly, but he’s also shooting career highs from the field and from beyond the arc too.
The Serbian shooter creates countless mismatches just by stepping on the floor. He’s truly one of the most versatile players in the NBA, with the ability to run the break with the ball in his hands, bang inside down low with big men, run around screens, or pull up from literally anywhere on the floor. He doesn’t have an offensive weakness, and he’s essentially impossible to defend.
Bjelica may be a name that’s constantly overlooked, whether that has to do with where he’s playing, how hard his name is to say, or even a relatively low point per game average.
Whatever the reason, however, it’s incorrect. Very rarely does a player actually improve in every single statistical category, and Bjelica is blowing out his prior career highs one-eighth of the way through the season. While it may take a lot of good luck and effort to continue this top-notch play, there’s no reason why the Serbian point forward shouldn’t be considered for the most improved player.