How does Sasha Vezenkov fit into Kings' offseason plan?
Kings kick off summer build with Sasha fever
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Sasha mania is sweeping Sacramento.
Maybe that is an overstatement, but Kings fans are definitely glued to social media hoping for any indication as to whether Sasha Vezenkov, the EuroLeague star racking up MVP trophies left and right, will leave Olympiacos for the beauty of the beam in Sacramento.
Vezenkov is still playing overseas. He’ll take on former King, Chima Moneke, and his Monaco squad on Friday morning as part of the EuroLeague Semi-Finals.
The Kings have been extremely aggressive in their pursuit of the 27-year-old forward. Assistant coach Jay Triano made a visit to Greece during All-Star week to touch base with the sharpshooting forward. General manager Monte McNair and one of his lieutenants, Phil Jabour, made the trip overseas in March and then head coach Mike Brown took in a game last week as the team put on the full-court press.
“Obviously, the way that they’re guarding, that makes it tough, but when you guard somebody like that, you like that person on the floor because it creates a lot of space for everybody else,” Brown said. “The way we play, he fits in really good. He shoots the 3-ball. He’s got size. He’s got toughness. He rebounds. All those things are exciting with the way we play the game of basketball, so we’ll let him finish out his season, and then we’ll make decisions from there.”
Kings head coach Mike Brown speaks with reporters in Greece, gives his thoughts on Olympiacos star Sasha Vezenkov & the possibility of him jumping to the NBA following his season in Europe, his draft rights owned by Sacramento.
🏀 Μαϊκ Μπράουν στο… https://t.co/GOiyGoxwtN https://t.co/cqGeTU4wS4
— Sean Cunningham (@SeanCunningham)
May 10, 2023
If you watch the video, you can see that Brown isn’t the only member of the Kings’ brass in attendance. Matina Kolokotronis, the franchise’s Chief Operating Officer, is standing to Brown’s right and she might be key to landing the talented 6-foot-9 power forward.
Kolokotronis’ work with the franchise dates back to the late 1990s when she helped negotiate Peja Stojakovic’s release from his team in Greece before the 1998-99 season. She also worked to get Hedo Turkoglu out of his Turkish League contract in 2000. Turkoglu had to pay his own buyout from his European contract and spent his rookie season living in a makeshift apartment in Kolokotronis’ backyard. That’s a fun story for another day.
If the Kings are going to get a deal done to get Vezenkov to Sacramento this summer, having someone like Kolokotronis on their side is a plus. She is also fluent in Greek which could come in handy when dealing with Olympiacos and European agents.
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