At the height of the 2023 NBA playoffs, the Sacramento Kings are sitting at home, but that does not mean nothing is happening. While free agency is not in full swing yet, and the 2023 Draft is still over a month away, there are still a few headlines Kings fans might find interesting besides all of the trade rumors that could be started within the coming weeks.
Kings gaining interest in EuroLeague star Sasha Vezenkov
The 27-year-old EuroLeague forward was drafted with the 57th pick back in the 2017 NBA draft but chose to keep playing overseas. More recently, in 2022, the Kings traded for his rights. Vezenkov is 6’9″ and averaged 17.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game this past season while being an elite three-point shooter.
Head coach Mike Brown recently visited to see him play in a playoff game and had high praise for the forward (via The Sacramento Bee):
"“The way we play, he fits in really good. 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…I think he can be a really effective player in the NBA at a high level.”"
The Kings have been looking to add Vezenkov to the roster for a while now, but this could be the off-season that it finally happens. After extending his contract with the Olympiacos team in Greece throughout 2025, the Kings would have to execute a buy-out if they did want to add him to the roster for next season.
Rookie Keegan Murray gets praise from GM Monte McNair
After receiving 2023 All-Rookie First Team honors, Keegan Murray has gotten plenty of love from around the league. The Kings selected Murray with the 4th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, so they had high expectations for him coming into the season. Most would say that he was even able to exceed these high expectations. Sacramento Kings GM had very high praise for Murray following the season (via NBA.com):
"“I believe [Keegan Murray] was the most winning impact rookie on the court this year.”"
Murray led all rookies in three-point percentage with 41.1% while simultaneously setting the all-time NBA record for most three-pointers made by a rookie. Getting put into one of the fastest-paced offenses in basketball as a rookie cannot be easy to adjust to straight out of college, but Murray was able to not only fit in the system but excel in his role. Mike Brown also had some praise for his rookie forward (via Sacramento Kings):
"“He showed he’s more than capable, and I’m excited. I’m thrilled to see him come back next year because he’s got a chance to really take off.”"
Murray had a fantastic rookie season and secured his spot on this roster for years to come as he keeps improving.
Kings guard Kevin Huerter reflects on the season
In his first season as King, Kevin Huerter was able to come on to the big stage and exceed all expectations the Kings might have had for him. Being a lights-out shooter from deep helped him fit into the scheme Mike Brown is building in Sacramento. Huerter recently spoke to a group of people at a luncheon in his former high school, Shenendehowa, where he shared his thoughts on this past season.
Huerter spoke on how funny it was to go from growing up watching Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to guarding Klay in a playoff series. After starting the season 0-4, Huerter had his doubts (via The Daily Gazette):
"“I remember thinking, ‘Man, this is going to be a long four years, if this is how it’s going to go. I went across the country, and we might suck.’”"
The more they won, the more comfortable the team was getting. Huerter talked about how excited he was to play with De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk going into the season, along with the adjustment he made to play off of Domantas Sabonis.