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Kings' Sim Bhullar becomes first of Indian descent to sign NBA deal

Kings' Sim Bhullar becomes first of Indian descent to sign NBA deal Photo: Steve Dykes/Getty Images

The Sacramento Kings have signed undrafted rookie center Sim Bhullar, the team announced Thursday. A Toronto native, Bhullar becomes the first player of Indian descent to sign an NBA contract.

Bhullar played with the Kings' summer league team in Las Vegas, appearing for a total of 10 minutes over four games. He averaged 10.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.4 blocks last season as a sophomore at New Mexico State.

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Under owner Vivek Ranadive, who was born and spent his childhood in Mumbai, the Kings have worked to promote their franchise and the NBA in general in India in recent years, and aired over 20 live games there last season. 

“I’ve long believed that India is the next great frontier for the NBA, and adding a talented player like Sim only underscores the exponential growth basketball has experienced in that nation,” said Ranadive. “While Sim is the first player of Indian descent to sign with an NBA franchise, he represents one of many that will emerge from that region as the game continues to garner more attention and generate ever-increasing passion among a new generation of Indian fans.”

The 7'5", 360-pound Bhullar struggled with his conditioning while playing for the Aggies. He will join the Kings in training camp and could be a candidate to play for the team's D-League affiliate in Reno. 

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