NBA

Potential Future Kings Forward Sasha Vezenkov Impresses During EuroBasket

Sep 8, 2022, 7:45 AM | Updated: 7:46 am

TBILISI, GEORGIA - SEPTEMBER 04: Aleksandar Vezenkov of Bulgaria drives to the basket during the FI...

(Photo by Nikola Krstic/MB Media/Getty Images)

(Photo by Nikola Krstic/MB Media/Getty Images)

If you were hoping that Sasha Vezenkov would come over to the NBA for the 2022-23 season, watching the forward play during EuroBasket might have been a tough watch.

Just months after the 27-year-old decided to remain with his EuroLeague club Olympiacos B.C. instead of joining the Sacramento Kings, Vezenkov put on an offensive clinic for his Bulgarian squad during EuroBasket 2022.

Not only did Vezenkov place his name among some of the top talents in the NBA that were also competing in group play, but he also did so with ease during five appearances over the past week. In those five games, the 6’9 forward averaged 26.8 points, 12.2 rebounds, and 2.2 assists while shooting 49 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point land.

When the dust settled on group play, Bulgaria was unable to advance to the Round of 16, but Vezenkov made his mark.

Looking at the leaders from group play, there are some names that you might recognize:

Points per game

  1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece) – 31.0 points per game
  2. Sasha Vezenkov (Bulgaria) – 26.8 points per game
  3. Luka Dončić (Slovenia) – 26.6 points per game
  4. Lauri  Markkanen (Finland) – 24.8 points per game
  5. Džanan Musa (Bosnia and Herzegovina) – 21.4 points per game
  6. Nikola Jokic (Serbia) – 19.8 points per game

Rebounds per game

  1. Sasha Vezenkov (Bulgaria) – 12.2 rebounds per game
  2. Jonas Valančiūnas (Lithuania) – 11.4 rebounds per game
  3. Alexander Mamukelashvili (Georgia) – 11.0 rebounds per game
  4. Nikola Jokic (Serbia) – 10.5 rebounds per game
  5. Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece) – 10.3 rebounds per game
  6. Rudy Gobert (France) – 9.0 rebounds per game

Vezenkov posted a double-double in four of his five EuroBasket appearances, tying Georgia’s Alexander Mamukelashvili for the most during group play.

The floor-spacing forward possesses the skill to help Sacramento at the NBA level, something that Kings general manager Monte McNair and the rest of the front office are assuredly hoping for in the coming seasons.

After the Sacramento Kings acquired Vezenkov’s NBA rights during a draft day deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers back on June 23rd, questions regarding the Greek League MVP’s future started to make their way around the basketball world. Vezenkov was rumored to be interested in a move to the NBA, but will reportedly return to play another season in Piraeus, Greece.

Vezenkov had until July 20th to exercise the NBA opt-out clause in his contract but eventually decided against the move overseas.

That doesn’t mean that we won’t ever see Vezenkov in Sacramento, however.

According to EuroHoops.net’s Antonis Stroggylakis, recently hired Kings head coach Mike Brown shared that the team invited Veznekov out to visit Sacramento, but the forward was unable to travel out to California due to his Bulgarian national team obligations.

“He’s big and versatile. He can shoot the ball, he’s a veteran, and he’s smart. He just knows how to play the game,” Brown said of Vezenkov’s game.

“We were hoping he could come out so we’d get to know him a little bit and take a look at him but he had other commitments this summer, especially with the national team and all this stuff,” Brown said. “We have his rights so we’ll circle back at him next summer.”

YouTube video

When asked about Brown being in attendance and any future aspirations to join the Kings in the NBA, Vezenkov told EuroHoops.net’s Semih Tuna that he will see where he is at physically next summer before making that decision.

“It’s a big season, I have a big priority with my team Olympiacos in what will be a very difficult year. My only thought is to stay focused and stay healthy, to give everything I can [to Olympiacos]. And then we will see. Next summer is ten months away. The first thing is to be healthy and we will see”.

While Kings fans might have to wait until the 2023-24 season to witness Vezenkov spot up for a triple at Golden 1 Center, EuroBasket 2022 was hopefully a sneak peek of what is to come at the NBA level for the talented forward.

 

Newsletter

NBA

Head coach Mike Brown of the Sacramento Kings reacts during the second quarter of the game at TD Ga...

Frankie Cartoscelli

Sacramento Kings announce multi-year extension for Mike Brown

The Sacramento Kings officially announced they have signed head coach Mike Brown to a multi-year extension that runs through 2026-27.

4 minutes ago

SACRAMENTO, CA - JULY 9: DeMar DeRozan #10 of the Sacramento Kings poses for a portrait on July 9, ...

Frankie Cartoscelli

Mark Jones thinks DeMar DeRozan will be a ‘great fit’ with Kings

Sacramento Kings TV voice Mark Jones joined Carmichael Dave to share his thoughts on the DeMar DeRozan signing, Summer League & more.

3 hours ago

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 25: Drew Timme #2 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs reacts during the second half a...

Brenden Nunes

Drew Timme: “The goal is to get anywhere near what Sabonis has done”

After their second LVSL game, Sacramento Kings' big Drew Timme told reporters that "the goal is to get anywhere near what Sabonis has done."

11 hours ago

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 31: Colby Jones #20 of the Sacramento King dribbles the ball up cour...

Brenden Nunes

Colby Jones successfully set the tone in 82-70 win over Utah

After a slow start to his second Summer League, Colby Jones was aggressive and effective in setting the tone against the Utah Jazz.

19 hours ago

Sacramento Kings Assistant Coach for Player Development Lindsey Harding passes the ball during the ...

Frankie Cartoscelli

Stockton Kings head coach Lindsey Harding agrees to deal with Lakers

Stockton Kings head coach and reigning G-League Coach of the Year winner Lindsey Harding is joining the Los Angeles Lakers.

20 hours ago

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - FEBRUARY 03: DeMar DeRozan #11 of the Chicago Bulls dribbles up the court again...

Frankie Cartoscelli

Chicago GM ‘would love’ if DeMar DeRozan was still a Bull

Chicago Bulls GM Marc Eversley shared his thoughts on the sign-and-trade deal that sent DeMar DeRozan to the Sacramento Kings.

1 day ago

Potential Future Kings Forward Sasha Vezenkov Impresses During EuroBasket