Free agent power forward Giorgi Bezhanishvili will ink an Exhibit 10 deal with the Nuggets, per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN (Twitter link). The 6’9″ rookie out of Illinois had previously suited up for Denver’s Summer League team.
The big man’s deal is fairly standard for a training camp invitee. Ostensibly, he could play himself into a rotation on the Nuggets’ 15-man roster to kick off the 2021/22 season. That said, the Nuggets are more likely to try him out on their new G League affiliate club, the Grand Rapids Gold. Bezhanishvili could also be in the mix for Denver’s second two-way player slot, alongside the already-signed Markus Howard.
The Nuggets currently have 14 players under standard guaranteed contracts, plus guard PJ Dozier on a non-guaranteed deal.
Bezhanishvili went undrafted this summer after logging three seasons with the Fighting Illini. The 22-year-old averaged 8.2 PPG and 4.3 RPG in 95 contests with the club, including 57 starts.
He enjoyed his most productive collegiate run as a freshman. During the 2018/19 season, Bezhanishvili averaged 12.5 PPG and 5.2 RPG, in 26.1 MPG, while starting all 33 games. By his junior season, those numbers had declined to 5.1 PPG and 2.7 RPG, while averaging just 14.5 MPG in 31 games as a reserve.