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EuroLeague star Sasha Vezenkov reportedly could join Kings next season

Olympiakos Piraeus v Fenerbahce Beko - Turkish Airlines EuroLeague

PIRAEUS, GREECE - MAY 09: Sasha Vezenkov of Olympiacos Piraeus celebrates during the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague basketball match between Olympiakos Piraeus and Fenerbahce Beko at Peace and Friendship Stadium in Piraeus, Greece on May 09, 2023. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Kings were the surprise team of this NBA season, breaking their 16-year playoff drought and becoming the best feel-good story in the league. They made the playoffs and earned respect there, going toe-to-toe with the defending champions for seven games.

That’s not enough for Sacramento, they want to take a step forward next season, and may have some help doing it by bringing EuroLeague star Sasha Vezenkov over, reports Marc Stein in his newsletter.

Olympiacos star Sasha Vezenkov, whose draft rights in #thisleague belong to the Kings, is indeed seriously considering a jump to the NBA next season, according to a source close to the situation.

One well-placed European insider went so far this week as to say a deal with Sacramento this summer is trending toward inevitable. Vezenkov’s current pact with the perennial Greek power Olympiacos is said to contain a reported NBA buyout in the range of 1.5 million Euros...

“He shoots the 3-ball,” Brown told a group of Greek reporters. “He’s got size. He’s got toughness. He rebounds. All those things are exciting with the way we play the game of basketball.”

The Brooklyn Nets took Vezenkov 57th in the NBA Draft back in 2017 as one of those end-of-the-draft fliers (his rights bounced around a little before landing with the Kings). This gamble panned out. In the years since he was selected the 6'9" versatile forward grew from lightly-used young role player to the leading scorer of Olympiacos, one of the EuroLeague final four in 2022. Scouts say he has a good feel for the game, prefers to attack the rim and get inside, but is also a solid outside shooter. As Brown noted, this isn’t some soft Euro, this is a guy who likes the physicality of the game.

With Harrison Barnes likely on the move this season and Keegan Murray impressive but still growing into his forward role, there would be minutes for Vezenkov in Sacramento.

It’s something worth watching.