One of the most interested cases of the summer European transfer market came to an end literally minutes ago as Caja Laboral have officially announced the signing of the Serbian wunderkid for the next five seasons.
The 22 year old Serb who stands at 209cm can play all position from point guard until power forward and is considered as the next big thing of the entire European basketball and several teams fought for his signature, most prominent of which was Olympiacos, who despite having Bjelica’s mentor Dusan Ivkovic at its bench failed to seal the deal.
Bjelica started playing basketball in Partizan youth clubs but then moved to Austria to play basketball in senior level for Traiskirchen Arkadia Lions in 2007/08 season. After a very good season he moved back to his homeland, this time to play for Red Star where he was further developed as player under the guidance of Svetislav Pesic.
In 2009 he played in the Eurobasket, winning the silver medal under Dusan Ivkovic. Some weeks ago he was picked at the No.35 of NBA Draft as an early 2nd round pick by Washingston Wizards who later traded his rights to the Minnesota Timberwolves who also signed Nikola Pekovic and Darko Milicic and as rumoured can buy-out Bjelica too in the summer of 2012/13 season.
Last seaosn Bjelica averaged 9.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists in Adriatic League in 25 minutes while in the Eurocup he put up 8.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2 assists in more than 23 minutes per game.
Caja Laboral also thanks Benetton Treviso to have collaborated with the Basque club to make the transfer possible as they had inked the player from Red Star earlier in the summer.