Stein’s Latest: Kings, Vezenkov, Pistons, Ollie, Mavs, Lindsey, Ayton

Kings draft-and-stash prospect Sasha Vezenkov is seriously considering the possibility of making the move to the NBA for the 2023/24 season, reports Marc Stein in his latest Substack story. In fact, Stein says one source believes a deal between the two sides is “trending toward inevitable.”

The No. 57 pick in the 2017 draft, Vezenkov had his NBA rights acquired last offseason by Sacramento. A year later, both the Kings and Vezenkov are coming off hugely successful seasons and may be in a better position to team up than they were in 2022.

The Kings snapped a 16-year playoff drought by posting their best record since 2004/05, while Vezenkov had an MVP-caliber season in the EuroLeague. The 6’9″ forward averaged 17.6 points and 7.0 rebounds per game on .546/.398/.857 shooting in 33 games (28.7 MPG) for Olympiacos and is attempting to lead the Greek club to a EuroLeague title.

Vezenkov is under contract with Olympiacos beyond this season, but has a buyout clause in his deal that’s believed to be worth approximately 1.5 million Euros.

Stein shared a few more tidbits from around the NBA at Substack. Here are the highlights:

  • Pistons general manager Troy Weaver is believed to be a major supporter of head coaching candidate Kevin Ollie, according to Stein, who says the belief in coaching circles entering this week’s interviews with finalists was that Ollie was the frontrunner for Detroit’s open position. James L. Edwards III of The Athletic first suggested last week that Ollie may be in the lead for that job.
  • After reporting last month that the Mavericks were in advanced negotiations with former Jazz executive Dennis Lindsey, Stein says Lindsey has joined the Mavs as a special advisor to general manager Nico Harrison and will be part of Dallas’ front office contingent at next week’s draft combine in Chicago.
  • In the wake of the Suns‘ elimination from the postseason, a league-wide consensus that Deandre Ayton has played his last game for the team is “quickly forming,” Stein writes. We wrote earlier today about the expectation that the former No. 1 overall pick will be on the trade block this offseason.
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