Kings general manager Vlade Divac reached out to Bjelica on Wednesday to explain his high value in the NBA versus leaving for Europe, league sources said.
Bjelica originally agreed to a one-year, $4.4 million deal with the 76ers, but reconsidered the agreement due to family, professional and personal concerns. In Sacramento, both sides could find a longer-term deal.
Bjelica represents a potential key addition to the Kings’ wing and front court rotation. A 6-foot-10 forward, Bjelica averaged 6.8 points and 41.5 percent 3-point shooting in 67 games for the Minnesota Timberwolves last season. The Kings have studied Bjelica’s fit as a hybrid and skilled floor-spacer, and the opportunity could allow him to showcase himself at the highest level and a long-term fit makes sense for both sides. The Kings now have considerable salary cap space ($20.5 million) to maintain flexibility.
Sacramento selected Duke’s Marvin Bagley III with the No. 2 overall pick in the June NBA draft and will pair him with another skilled big man, Harry Giles, as the franchise continues a strategic path toward playing with multi-position and versatile players.
Bjelica, 30, has spent his three NBA seasons in Minnesota after being the the No. 35 overall pick in the 2010 draft out of Serbia.
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