David Pick reports that one of the most sought after European players – Italian power forward Nicolo Melli – turned down an NBA offer from the Atlanta Hawks and decided to sign with reigning Euroleague champions Fenerbahce.
Source: Nicolo Melli has rebuffed an NBA offer from Atlanta and signed a multi-year deal with Euroleague gold-winners Fenerbahce.
— David Pick (@IAmDPick) July 6, 2017
The decision is not much of a surprise as rumors of Melli signing with Fenerbahce began during the Euroleague regular season, and roughly a week after Fenerbahce were crowned champions it was reported that Melli was in agreement with Fenerbahce for next season.
Melli was named to the All-Euroleague second team after averaging 11.5ppg, 7.4rpg, 2.3apg, and shooting 43-percent from three for Brose Bamberg last season.
It appears that Melli wants to capture a Euroleague crown before heading over to the NBA, and signing with the reigning champs who are coached by the winningest coach in Euroleague history – Zeljko Obradovic – gives him a very good chance of doing just that. He will also form what is without a doubt the best big man tandem in Europe with Ekpe Udoh.
Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops reported about a month ago that the contract between Melli and Fenerbahce will be a three-year deal. There is no information on opt-outs or NBA buyouts in the deal.
With Melli off the market, Milos Teodosic and Brad Wanamaker are the two best players from overseas that are free agents with NBA interest.