NBA rumors: Sasha Vezenkov-to-Kings deal 'trending toward inevitable'

Report: Vezenkov-to-Kings deal 'trending toward inevitable' originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Fresh off their first NBA playoff appearance in 17 years, the Kings are looking to make a splash in their follow-up campaign next season.

And at the moment, it looks like they could have a EuroLeague superstar on their already talented roster. Sasha Vezenkov is seriously considering the possibility of playing in the NBA for the 2023-24 season, Marc Stein reported in his latest Substack story (h/t Hoops Rumors).

Stein also reported, citing a source, that a deal between Vezenkov and the Kings is "trending toward inevitable."

While Sacramento was busy busting its 16-season playoff drought, Vezenkov was making waves in Europe. The 6-foot-9 forward posted MVP-like numbers for the Olympiacos during the regular season, averaging 17.6 points and 7.0 rebounds per game with a 54.6 shooting percentage from the field.

The Kings acquired Vezenkov's NBA rights last offseason, sending the No. 49 overall pick of the 2022 draft to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange. Sacramento has spent time in recent months watching Vezenkov play overseas -- first, assistant coach Jay Triano traveled to Greece to watch Vezenkov in February, and, most recently, coach Mike Brown took in Vezenkov's play during a EuroLeague playoff game last week.

"The way they mark him has made it difficult for him, but I like what I see," Brown told Greek media (h/t Basket News) of Vezenkov. "He leaves room for his teammates, he cuts well, he shoots well from three, he has toughness, he fights for rebounds.

"The way he shoots from the 3-point range is something we like. He handles the space very well, he's quick. He'll be an effective player in the NBA at a high level, especially with the toughness he shows. He's fearless and I love that."

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While it's clear Brown liked what he saw and believes Vezenkov has a shot in the NBA, the Kings coach played coy when discussing a potential deal between the two parties. Vezenkov is under contract with Olympiacos beyond this season, but the forward has a buyout clause in his deal.

"We want the season to end first, and then we will talk to him," Brown said in Greece. "We are extremely excited about him, we made a trade to acquire his rights in the summer. It's important that so many people from the team have come to see him in person, there is also the CEO of the Kings here and the European scout.

"For us, it's a priority, but we will see at the end of the season."