It’s a name we’ve heard floating around the NBA since 2017, and around Sacramento since last summer when the Sacramento Kings traded for his draft rights. The Kings have reportedly made a contract offer to reigning EuroLeague MVP Sasha Vezenkov today after failing to sign him last summer.
Vezenkov was reportedly offered a contract worth slightly less than the $8.4 million Kings standout Keegan Murray will make next year. Vezenkov currently is signed to Olympiacos through 2025, making 1.5 million euros next season and around 2 million the following season.
This contract offer is significantly above what Vezenkov will earn at Olympiacos, and the Kings are hoping this will finally get the star to transition to the NBA. The Kings will have to buy out Sasha’s current contract, which will cost them somewhere between $1-1.5 million. Vezenkov has been a huge prospect for the Kings, especially after a dominant year with Olympiacos (Greece).
Standing 6-foot-9, Vezenkov, 27, is a stretch forward who averaged 17.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game during the EuroLeague 2022-23 season. He has a quick release and shot 59.5% from the field, as well as nearly 40% from beyond the arc.
Scoring in EuroLeague is known to be much more difficult, as stated by Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic. This is due to the courts in Europe being smaller, a shorter game, and the lack of a three-second rule, meaning players can sit in the paint without punishment.
Kings head coach Mike Brown previously said the following about Vezenkov (via The Sacramento Bee, subscription required):
"“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.”"
How would Sasha Vezenkov fit into the Sacramento Kings lineup?
This guy is a star. He absolutely is a guy the Kings need to get on the roster, and he will add tons of depth.
Vezenkov could play at the wing for the Kings or he could be a four. Lots of Kings fans seem to want Vezenkov to come off the bench as a backup to Keegan Murray, and maybe initially that could be an option, but he absolutely can start once he gets his footing. Having Murray and Vezenkov rotate around with each other could be a fantastic option for the Kings.
Regardless, seeing Vezenkov in purple next season should be a priority for Sacramento.