Kings’ Vezenkov Reportedly Intends To Honor Contract

A couple of reports last week had conflicting information about the future of Kings forward Sasha Vezenkov.

An Italian reporter claimed Vezenkov was told he was no longer in Sacramento’s plans and the team would look to trade him, while Eurohoops reported that Vezenkov told the Kings he wasn’t going to return for a second season and he was undecided on whether he would stay in the NBA or return to Europe.

While the former EuroLeague MVP “remains frustrated” with the limited he role he played off the bench as a rookie last season, several sources tell Sean Cunningham of Fox 40 that there’s “no truth” to the rumor of Vezenkov considering an NBA exit (Twitter link). A source close to Vezenkov referred to that reporting as “off base” and said the Bulgarian intends to honor the terms of his contract.

Cunningham hears Sacramento would like to keep Vezenkov on the roster, but evidently there is external interest in his services as well. Given the Kings could be over the luxury tax line if they’re able to re-sign Malik Monk in free agency, it’s possible they might unload Vezenkov to save money, as our Luke Adams wrote when he previewed the Kings’ offseason.

Vezenkov signed a three-year, $20MM contract with Sacramento last summer. His $6.66MM salary for 2024/25 is fully guaranteed, while his $6.98MM salary for ’25/26 is a team option.

As we previously noted, Vezenkov can’t just terminate his contract. And since the 28-year-old’s deal for next season is guaranteed, Sacramento has no incentive to waive him unless he’s willing to give back some or all of the money he’s owed in a buyout. According to Cunningham’s report, that scenario is highly unlikely to occur.

Vezenkov averaged 5.4 PPG and 2.3 RPG on .440/.375/.800 shooting in 42 games last season for Sacramento (12.2 MPG). He missed 22 games with a Grade 3 right ankle sprain, but even when he was healthy, he wasn’t a consistent part of the team’s rotation.

View Comments (15)