Report: Sixers Add Forward Nemanja Bjelica
The Philadelphia 76ers are working on filling out their roster since they didn't hit the jackpot with a LeBron James or Paul George. So far, they have re-signed JJ Redick, acquired Wilson Chandler from the Nuggets and brought back Amir Johnson on a one-year deal for the vet minimum. Early Thursday morning, they added another bench piece to the mix, signing forward Nemanja Bjelica.
Per Zach Lowe of ESPN, the room mid-level deal is worth approximately $4.4 million.
In Bjelica, the Sixers get a player that can defend both forward spots off the bench and hit the three-ball at a reasonable percentage. He's a much more affordable option than Ersan Ilyasova, who signed with the Bucks for $21 million over three years, while offering a similar skills package. Last season for Minnesota, the 30-year-old averaged 6.8 points and 4.1 rebounds and hit 41.5 percent of his shots from beyond the arc, shooting 46.1 percent overall from the floor.
Signing Bjelica puts the Sixers roster at 17 and that's without Jonah Bolden or second-round pick Shake Milton. They need to get to 15 by the start of the season. There's been chatter about the Sixers and Jerryd Bayless striking a buy-out, so that would free up one spot. A dark horse candidate not to make the roster would be Richaun Holmes. After adding Bjelica, Amir Johnson and potentially Jonah Bolden coming over, minutes will be hard to come by for the former Bowling Green product whose contract is not guaranteed.
With the Sixers using the majority of their available cap space this offseason on players with one-year contracts, ESPN's Bobby Marks reports that the organization is projected to enter next summer of free agency with $42 million in cap space. If they want to make a splash, next summer is the time with both Ben Simmons and Dario Saric set to become restricted free agents during the summer of 2020.
Brandon Apter is a contributor to 97.3 ESPN and managing editor at SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @bapter23.