The Timberwolves have issued a qualifying offer to forward Nemanja Bjelica, reports Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. The move ensures that Bjelica will become a RFA this Sunday, giving Minnesota the right to match any offer he receives.
The move doesn’t come as a big surprise, with the team saying earlier this week that they were interested in bringing the reliable, 30-year-old veteran back to Minneapolis next season.
Bjelica, who averaged a career-high 6.8 points and 4.1 rebounds per game in 67 contests (21 starts) during the 2017/18 season, has a qualifying offer worth about $4.9MM after making just under $4MM last season.
As with any other restricted free agent, Bjelica now has the option of accepting his one-year qualifying offer, negotiating a new agreement with the Wolves, or securing an offer sheet from another team. In a separate tweet, Krawczynski adds that Bjelica is expected to test the market, and that Minnesota is already bracing for an offer that would be too pricey to match.
Bjelica was one of three Timberwolves’ players eligible for restricted free agency this season. The team has already opted not to extend a QO to Marcus Georges-Hunt and has until Saturday to make a decision on Amile Jefferson.