After weeks of speculation about coming to the states to begin his NBA career, Sasha Vezenkov will not play for the Sacramento Kings in the 2022-23 season. The news was first reported Friday night by Sean Cunningham of Fox 40.
The Sacramento Kings will not be bringing in Sasha Vezenkov for the 2022-23 NBA season, sources say. The team will continue to monitor him in the upcoming season and hold his draft rights and the possibility exists to bring him into next season.— Sean Cunningham (@SeanCunningham) July 15, 2022
Sacramento traded for Vezenkov’s rights on a draft day trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers, where the Kings moved the No. 49 pick in the draft, which became Isaiah Mobley out of USC.
The lefty, Vezenkov, averaged 14.9 points and 6.6 rebounds on high efficiency, playing for Olympiacos B.C. of the Greek Basketball League and the Euroleague.
Watch clips of Vezenkov and you can see an NBA player at some point. He has a solid 3-point shot that he has proven over the years in Europe to be consistent from that range, which is even more valuable given his size at 6-foot-9.
Vezenkov is under contract with Olympiacos through 2024 but has an NBA buyout clause in his deal for this summer and next summer, according to Eurohoop.com. Vezenkov is making just south of €1 million, which equates to roughly $900,000.
Given Sacramento’s financial limitations, a contract for Vezenkov in the NBA would likely be for around the league minimum, which isn’t much higher than what he is making in Greece currently. In Vezenkov’s mind, that minor raise may not be worth uprooting his life and potentially sitting on the bench to stay in the NBA.
Vezenkov, 26, could still come over to Sacramento at some point, but it just won’t be this summer.