1. Nemanja Bjelica
Back in the offseason, I argued that the Los Angeles Lakers should have signed Nemanja Bjelica over other players that they ended up signing, such as Kent Bazemore. I caught flack for that as Bjelica was coming off of a down year and Bazemore was coming off of a positive year.
Well, both players have returned to be who we thought they were before last season with Bjelica playing a solid role off the bench for the Western Conference-leading Golden State Warriors while Bazemore has played himself into less playing time.
They would have different roles on the Lakers but I would much rather have Bjelica over Bazemore. Heck, the team probably should have brought in Bjelica to give the team a stretch five off the bench and just rolled with Dwight Howard instead of bringing in DeAndre Jordan.
Bjelica does not sacrifice any size at the center position and while he is not a great rebounder that does not matter in today’s game with smaller lineups than it did before. Bjelica also would have fit nicely alongside Anthony Davis, who would have been listed as the four with Bjelica on the court but would have handled a lot of the true center duties.
As he should be doing anyway.
Bjelica is shooting a crisp 46.7% from beyond the arc this season while averaging 6.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game in only 15.1 minutes per game. He is definitely having a larger impact in his 15 minutes per game than Jordan is in his 14 minutes per game. Bjelica has a 2.6 Box Plus/Minus this season while Jordan has a 0.7 BPM.