After ending their playoff drought this season, the Kings are in position to add another key piece to become a more serious title contender. Vezenkov is under contract with Olympiacos beyond this season, but has a buyout clause believed to be worth approximately 1.5 million Euros.
The 6-foot-9 Vezenkov averaged 17.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists during his MVP season while shooting 53.6% from the field, 37.8% from 3-point range and 87.9% at the free-throw line. He continued his stellar play in the postseason, scoring a championship-game record 29 points along with nine rebounds and four assists in a 79-78 loss to Real Madrid.
Sacramento acquired his rights from the Cavaliers in exchange for the 49th overall pick in last year’s draft. The Kings negotiated with Vezenkov last summer but couldn’t reach an agreement.
Prior to the EuroLeague playoffs, Sacramento coach Mike Brown said the Kings are eager to bring in Vezenkov.
“We’ll let him finish the season out and then we’ll talk to him, but we’ve obviously been highly, highly intrigued with him,” Brown said. “We made a trade to get his rights last year. … For us, the interest is at a high level, but we’ll let him finish the season and then he’ll make decisions as well as us when it’s time.”
Technically, teams must wait until after this year’s draft to begin negotiations with unsigned draft picks, including those from prior years, Anderson points out.
Those negotiations could impact whether the Kings re-sign unrestricted free agent Harrison Barnes. Last year’s lottery pick, Keegan Murray, had a solid rookie campaign and started 78 of 80 games at the other forward spot.