It’s too early to be thinking about the 2023-24 NBA season, but the Kings are beginning to look ahead and want 6-foot-9 Sasha Vezenkov to be part of their future. Sacramento assistant coach Jay Triano traveled to Greece to watch Vezenkov over the NBA All-Star break.
Sacramento acquired the rights to Vezenkov right before the 2022 NBA Draft when the Kings sent the No. 49 pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Kings guard De’Aaron Fox did show excitement about the prospect of having the 27-year-old be part of what the franchise is building.
“I’ve actually looked at a film of [Vezenkov],” Fox told reporters during All-Star weekend. “And it’s funny because I tell Keegan [Murray] this a lot, and I’m like, ‘Keegan, if we want to win the championship, at some point, you know, either you’re gonna be one of those guys, or we’re going to find on of those guys,’ because, at the end of the day, I think a lot of, like it’s an extremely, like, wing based league, where most of the time, you know, the better teams have, you know, one of the better wings in the league.
“So being able to see someone like him play and what he’s done in the Euro League is crazy. And it’s just how efficient that he’s playing. Obviously, we would love for him to come over and just add to our team; you know, I feel like you can never have a team that's too deep.”
Additionally, Fox believes that the former second-round selection by the Brooklyn Nets in 2017 would be an ideal fit in the Kings’ lineup.
“I think [Vezenkov] would be a great fit,” Fox continued. “I’ve seen where he doesn’t dribble a lot. He’s a guy who can play out of the short, out of the mid-post. He shoots the ball extremely well. For one, if you can shoot the ball well in this league, there’s a spot for you, especially where you’re 6’7"-6’8," and you can shoot the ball there are a lot of spots for you in this league.”
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The Kings need to convince the big man to head to the United States next season. However, this visit from Triano might show Vezenkov that Sacramento does see him as having a significant role with the team for next season.
The Kings' assistant coach highlighted what he saw from the big man.
“I have seen him play on film,” Triano told Eurohoops on Friday after the game. “But with the All-Star break, it’s an opportunity to see him play live. Sometimes you see different things live. “He’s a very good teammate. Passes the ball well. He’s got a good feel for the game. A very smart basketball player.”
It will be interesting to see when Vezenkov decides to take his talents to the NBA.