NBA Rumors

Report: Kings offer contract to EuroLeague star Vezenkov

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The Kings appear to have wasted no time in officially pursuing reigning EuroLeague MVP and Olympiacos star Sasha Vezenkov.

With the 2023 NBA Draft’s passing, Sacramento became free to negotiate with the 6-foot-9 wing under CBA rules after acquiring his rights from the Cleveland Cavaliers last offseason in exchange for the No. 49 overall pick of the 2022 draft.

The Kings have offered Vezenkov an NBA contract worth part of their $12.4 million mid-level exception, or “slightly lower” than the $8.4 million Keegan Murray will make next season in the second year of his rookie deal, Harry Stavrou of Greek outlet reported Friday.

In recent months, Sacramento has taken time to watch Vezenkov in person, with assistant coach Jay Triano traveling to Greece in February to see the 27-year-old play. Coach Mike Brown also observed Vezenkov during the EuroLeague playoffs.

During Thursday's NBA Draft, the Kings cleared significant cap space by trading center Richaun Holmes and the No. 24 pick to the Dallas Mavericks. They certainly have a spot for a player like Vezenkov -- the two-time Greek League MVP averaged 17.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists for Olympiacos this past season.

Vezenkov reportedly would earn $1.62 million next season with Olympiacos and $2.2 million the following year, should he remain in the EuroLeague. But if he joins the Kings in the NBA, his Olympiacos contract contains a buyout clause between $1 million and $1.5 million, according to (h/t The Sacramento Bee’s Jason Anderson), and he would have to pay a portion of that himself.

“The way they mark him has made it difficult for him, but I like what I see,” Brown told Greek media (h/t BasketNews) 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.”

Brown also said Vezenkov is a “priority” for the Kings, but the team would see where things stand after the season. Now, we might just know.

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