SACRAMENTO KINGS

Report: Kings have Sasha Vezenkov in plans for 2023-24 season

Jun 21, 2023, 10:02 AM | Updated: 10:03 am

KAUNAS, LITHUANIA - MAY 21: Sasha Vezenkov, #14 of Olympiacos Piraeus during Turkish Airlines EuroL...

(Photo by Luca Sgamellotti/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images)

(Photo by Luca Sgamellotti/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images)

Thursday’s NBA Draft has plenty of the line for each team, but the Sacramento Kings will have more to consider than just the incoming 2023 rookie class.

Once the calendar turns from June 22nd to June 23rd, the Kings can officially begin negotiations with Bulgarian forward Sasha Vezenkov, the reigning EuroLeague Most Valuable Player and back-to-back Greek League Most Valuable Player.

Vezenkov, a 27-year-old, 6’9 forward with a quick release from beyond the arc, is coming off a second-straight Greek League title with Olympiacos B.C. and a second-place finish in the EuroLeague Playoffs.

While Vezenkov has arguably become the top basketball talent overseas, the possibility of joining the NBA is something the forward is strongly considering as we move into the thick of the offseason.

As we inch closer to Friday, June 23rd–the date that negotiations can begin between Sacramento, the owners of Vezenkov’s NBA rights, and the talented forward, reports from Greece indicate that the Kings are feeling confident that they will be able to lure the sharp-shooter to Northern California for the 2023-24 season.

Sportal’s Christos Tsaltas reported this week that Sacramento has Vezenkov in its plans for next season, as well as a specific role in head coach Mike Brown’s rotation:

Sportal ‘s information from Sacramento states that the Kings have Vezenkov in the plan for the new season. Not only that, but they are ready to give him a very important role in the new season’s team.

More specifically, they intend him to back up Keegan Murray in position 4, considering that he has all the elements to offer solutions with his peripheral shot and his ability to rebound. He is the player who can complement Murray at position 4, while it is possible that the two players will play together on the floor.

Sportal’s Christos Tsaltas – June 17, 2023

Vezenkov has an NBA opt-out clause in his contract with Olympiacos that is worth over $1 million, a price that Sacramento would have to pay in order to sign the forward to a multi-year deal.

While the Kings appear to have eyes for Vezenkov, Olympiacos owner Giorgos Aggelopoulos told the media that he is set to do “everything” to retain his team’s marquee player.

“It is a given that [Vezenkov] belongs to Olympiacos,” Aggelopoulos said following his team’s Greek League title last week. “[Vezenkov] must stay at Olympiacos. We want him and we will do everything [to retain Vezenkov].”

Sacramento has been front-and-center in making its interest in Vezenkov clear this offseason. Brown, associate head coach Jordi Fernández, and assistant coach Jay Triano all made trips to watch the forward play in the EuroLeague playoffs in May.

“The way we play, he fits in really good,” Brown said on May 10th after watching Vezenkov play in the EuroLeague playoffs.

“He shoots the three-ball. He’s got size. He’s got toughness. He rebounds. All those things are exciting with the way we play the game of basketball, so we’ll let him finish out his season, and then we’ll make decisions from there.”

Over 37 appearances in the EuroLeague and Greek League this season, Vezenkov averaged 17.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game while shooting 65 percent on two-point field goals and 39 percent from beyond the three-point arc.

The Kings hold Vezenkov’s NBA rights thanks to a draft day deal with the Cleveland last June that netted the Cavaliers the 49th overall pick in the 2022 draft (Isaiah Mobley was later selected).

YouTube video

After planning on meeting with the Kings in Las Vegas last July, Vezenkov backed out at the last minute and instead inked an extension with Olympiacos that will run through the 2024-25 season.

Now that Sacramento has emerged as a playoff team and an up-and-coming force in the NBA, Vezenkov appears to be more open to the idea of joining the Kings and making his leap to the United States.

We’re getting closer to a resolution to the Vezenkov-Kings saga, and it’s possible a conclusion is reached before free agency opens up on June 30th.

Sacramento Kings Offseason Schedule

  • Thursday, June 22– 2023 NBA Draft
  • Friday, June 30– Free Agent negotiating period begins
  • Thursday, July 6– Free Agents can begin signing deals
  • Friday, July 7–Monday, July 17– NBA Summer League in Las Vegas
  • August TBD– 2023-24 NBA regular season schedule release
  • September TBD– Sacramento Kings training camp begins

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