In the 2017 NBA Draft, the Brooklyn Nets owned two first-round picks and one second-round pick. They utilized their 22nd overall pick to take Jarrett Allen and then they traded the rights to their 27th overall pick in Kyle Kuzma along with veteran Brook Lopez to the Los Angeles Lakers for Timofey Mozgov and former second overall pick D’Angelo Russell.
Later on in the draft, the Nets found themselves on-the-clock with the 57th overall selection which they used to select Aleksandar “Sasha” Vezenkov, a 6’9” forward who was with FC Barcelona in Spain at the time.
Vezenkov has not come over to the United States to play in the NBA yet, but that could change very soon. Having his rights traded from the Brooklyn Nets to the Cleveland Cavaliers as part of the James Harden blockbuster trade in 2021, Vezenkov recently had his rights traded once again, this time from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Sacramento Kings ahead of the 2022 NBA Draft.
The Kings now own the rights to Sasha Vezenkov should he decide to come overseas and play in the NBA. According to basketnews.com, Vezenkov is “the closest to the NBA he’s ever been.”
Sacramento is looking to put an end to their 16-year playoff drought and general manager Monte McNair has been very aggressive this offseason in terms of adding talent to his roster.
After trading for All-Star Domantas Sabonis at the trade deadline last season, the Kings went out and not only signed Malik Monk this offseason, but they also traded for sharpshooter Kevin Huerter. Rookie Keegan Murray was also taken fourth overall in this year's draft and he is a versatile player the Kings are especially high on.
Bringing Sasha Vezenkov over from Olympiacos in Greece, his current club, is something that the Kings definitely have interest in doing and he could potentially supply them with yet another intriguing scoring option.
Playing in 21 games this past season with Olympiacos, Vezenkov averaged 14.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and shot 55.3% from the floor, 37.8% from three-point range. He was named to the All-EuroLeague First Team and helped his team win both the Greek League and Greek Cup in 2022.
“Sasha is one of the best shooters who's got great positional size in one of the best leagues in the world. He's already producing, that made it easy for us,” McNair told reporters in a press conference after the team acquired the rights to Vezenkov. “Sasha is a guy we see fitting with Domas' [Sabonis] passing, with [De'Aaron] Fox's ability to collapse defenses, just another guy who can stand there and hit shots. We all know how important that is in the league these days, we all just saw the playoffs.”
While Olympiacos did extend Vezenkov’s contract through 2024, he does have an NBA-out option and the buyout for his deal is roughly $750,000. Should Sacramento want to bring him overseas for the 2022-23 season, they certainly could and the EuroLeague star could very much make an impact for the Kings.
Sasha Vezenkov has been invited to Las Vegas during NBA Summer League to meet with the Sacramento Kings. It is likely that the team will present him with an offer to play in the NBA.