The Philadelphia 76ers have impressed to start the 2020-21 season. Even after a tough loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday, the Sixers are still 1st in the Eastern Conference at 18-8. One area the Sixers could benefit from improving, though, is their three-point volume. They only rank 28th in three-point attempts per game at 29.5.
This is where Nemanja Bjelica, who’s reportedly caught the interest of the Sixers, would help. The Athletic’s Sam Amick has reported that the Sixers are one of the teams “considering” the Sacramento Kings forward:
Nemanja Bjelica who has been out of [Luke] Walton’s rotation since Jan. 9 and appears likely to be on the move. The Sixers, who have long been tied to [Buddy] Hield in terms of interest, are known to be among the teams who are considering the 32-year-old forward who has shot 39 percent from three-point range in his six seasons.
As Amick noted, Bjelica has been out of the Kings’ rotation for a while now — they have plenty of forwards/bigs on their roster, and he hasn’t played at all since January 9. While he’s the kind of shooter that could help plenty of teams around the league, his current standing with the Kings should at least ensure that his value isn’t too high. It wouldn’t be hard for the Sixers to put together some of their smaller salaries to make the money work in a deal, either. Bjelica’s on an expiring $7.15 million contract.
First and foremost, Bjelica would be a quality shooting addition to give the Sixers’ bench some extra three-point firepower. He shot 41.2 percent from three over the previous three seasons on good volume, attempting 5.3 triples per 36 minutes. Beyond his efficiency and quick trigger, he adds value as more than just a stand still, catch-and-shoot threat. Bjelica has range that extends beyond the arc and he’s comfortable shooting off movement. He’s a solid passer, too.
The Sixers could do with upgrading their forward/frontcourt rotation, and Bjelica’s floor spacing and shooting on the move would add a new dynamic to their second unit. Of course, the Sixers’ main offensive need at the moment is still more perimeter creation. But the more spacing and high-level shooters they have around Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, the better. If Philly can add Bjelica without giving up too much, it makes sense to do so.
As the trade deadline approaches and rumors increase in the coming weeks, Bjelica looks like someone to keep an eye on.