1. Sasha Vezenkov
While JaVale McGee was the biggest name the Kings brought on board over the summer, the signing of Sasha Vezenkov caused the most excitement. A 6’8” EuroLeague MVP who can shoot the three seemed like the perfect addition to the Kings’ existing roster.
He was expected to make an immediate impact, which might have been a little unfair. Yes, Vezenkov had been a professional for years before coming to Sacramento, playing at a high level, but the NBA game is different.
Rules are different, the game is played differently, and the NBA is home to some of the best athletes in the world. Especially defensively, it was a huge change for Vezenkov, and Coach Mike Brown made it clear right away that he would have to fight for his spot in the rotation.
He went back and forth between getting DNPs and meaningful minutes, between making shots and struggling from three. A lot of this is not on Vezenkov. Expectations for him were set too high over the summer, and he hasn’t gotten a consistent chance to carve out a role.
Nevertheless, it has hurt the Kings’ depth that Vezenkov hasn’t been playing as well as we thought he would. The potential is there, however. He moves well without the ball, gets rebounds, and can knock down shots. Hopefully, he can have a bigger impact next season.