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Report: Sasha Vezenkov likely to join the Kings next season

Marc Stein quotes a source saying the move is "trending towards inevitable".
By | 109 Comments | May 14, 2023

Via Wiki Commons

After falling in the first round of the playoffs, the Sacramento Kings enter the offseason with several avenues towards improvement. Trades, free agency, and the draft all loom on the horizon, and we’ll cover them all in more depth in the weeks to come. But tied into the free agency path is the much-anticipated move of bringing over Sasha Vezenkov from Olympiacos.

The Kings reportedly tried to get Vezenkov to join the Kings last season, but Vezenkov instead re-upped for another year with Olympiacos. That deal extended Sasha multiple season, but included an NBA buyout option, and still pays considerably less than an NBA salary likely would. Vezenkov was named Greek League MVP last season, and is a strong candidate to win EuroLeague MVP honors this season.

Now, the whispers are growing stronger that Vezenkov will make the leap this summer. In his latest Substack, Marc Stein reports is “seriously considering” making the jump to the NBA, and adds, “One well-placed European insider went so far this week as to say a deal with Sacramento this summer is trending toward inevitable.”

The Sacramento Kings have kept their interest in Sasha visible throughout the past year. Monte McNair has attended a game, as has assistant GM and VP of Player Personnel Phil Jabour. Assistant Coach Jay Triano attended one of Sasha’s games in March, and Mike Brown attended a game this past week. Brown was interviewed by local media, and spoke about how well Vezenkov would fit the Kings play style:

This season Vezenkov is averaging 17.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game, while shooting 39.8% from 3 nd 65.8% overall, in just under 29 minutes per game.

We’ll continue to monitor the situation, but I would be very excited if the Kings could add a player like Vezenkov this summer, and it’s looking increasingly likely to happen.

 

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Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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May 14, 2023 2:53 pm

As much as I like Barnes, I wonder if Sasha could be a cheaper alternative. He’s a solid 6’9″ that could slot into Barnes’ role in the rotation. If the Kings can fit his contract into an exception that would free up some space for the Kings to add another solid big behind Sabonis.

Just spitballing, but if the Kings can keep Lyles and use the cap space vacated by Barnes, maybe the Kings could throw some money at guys like Naz Reid, Plumlee, or hell, even Brook Lopez.

Jack
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May 14, 2023 3:07 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I really like Reid. 23 shoots the 3 pretty well, plays defense and rebounds.He is a tough cookie and would help Sabonis at the 4. Then we can move Murray to the 3 spot where IMO he belongs. He could also play center. Won’t back down to anybody. Big body but very fluid. I say try and go get him. Sasha can play the 3 or 4 and would be a fit with Lyles who could go either way. Now we need a backup center. Maybe Collins or Poelti.

jwalker1395
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May 15, 2023 8:37 am
Reply to  Jack

Reid does all the things we need in Sacramento, but I just don’t know about hit fit alongside Sabonis. If I squint real hard, he can be a stretch-4, but is he gonna be able to switch on the perimeter defensively?

My concern with Reid is that we become so eager to address our rebounding and rim protection issues, that we handcuff ourselves long-term to a guy that puts a firm ceiling on us due to limited shooting and perimeter versatility. There aren’t many guys in the league that can complement Sabonis perfectly at the PF position, but if Sabonis is our guy then I don’t think we should be jumping at half-measures like Reid.

My vote is go get Siakam, and if that’s not possible, just live with the roster as is. We have TONS of flexibility in terms of movable contracts and cap space. Keep it open until that certified stretch-4 that can switch on the perimeter and offer weakside rim protection comes along (I just described Siakam again, didn’t I?)

Jack
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May 15, 2023 8:50 am
Reply to  jwalker1395

Siakim would be a really good fit but we also have to look at his contract. That’s a lot of money even if we could spend that much which IMO would rather have someone like Reid at 23 years old and a backup to Sabonis like say Zach Collins or Poelti. Now you are getting two or one together.

jwalker1395
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May 15, 2023 9:01 am
Reply to  Jack

I am firmly against Zach Collins as the solution to our interior defense. Poeltl is a certifiable starter and won’t play well behind or next to Domas.

Siakam is expensive but unless the Kings successfully trade for Wembanyama or Holmgren, I just don’t know who the alternative would be to play next to Sabonis (could we kick the tires on Jonathan Isaac on the cheap?). Especially since Siakam is available now (and probably at a discount since Toronto needs to act fast). It just seems like a match made in heaven.

Jack
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May 15, 2023 10:56 am
Reply to  jwalker1395

I would kick the tires on Issac. I’m I missing something on Siakim being available now. If so what do you think it would take to get him?

jwalker1395
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May 15, 2023 11:14 am
Reply to  Jack

They’re trying to get younger and Siakam is older and expensive and about to enter free agency after this season. It’s better to deal him than let him walk. I’d guess 3 firsts, Huerter, and Holmes for salary filler would be enough to get the job done.

Jack
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May 15, 2023 3:23 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

Are you willing to pay all that for one player at that age. Wow!

jwalker1395
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May 16, 2023 5:40 am
Reply to  Jack

He’s freshly 29 years old – we’ll get somewhere between 4-6 seasons of title contention out of him, Fox, and Sabonis. I’d say that’s pretty reasonable in exchange for 3 late-firsts, an average starter, and a backup on a bad contract. If Monte can negotiate for less then terrific!

Collins would be a fine backup. He’s a pretty textbook stretch-4. But he has never been a force on the interior. He’s easily pushed around, doesn’t rebound very well and doesn’t block many shots. Not really a huge difference between him and Lyles tbh. Our starting stretch-4 next to Sabonis needs to be a higher caliber.

murraytant
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May 16, 2023 10:14 am
Reply to  jwalker1395

reasons against Siakem- too expensive- paying for past performance, too old and is a free agent after one year- big risk.
the comments about trading for Victor- I hope that was a joke.

Jack
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May 16, 2023 4:58 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

Obviously you might have missed what Collins was doing at the 5 for the Spurs the second half of the season. IMO he did a good job starting but could do a good job backing up Sabonis.

Jack
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May 15, 2023 4:26 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

What is your reasoning against Zach Collins?

Hobby916
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May 15, 2023 8:51 am
Reply to  jwalker1395

The Naz love reminds me of the Dewayne Dedmon offseason. Theoretical ideal fit, did not fit in and had the attitude with limited playing time. Naz is probably looking for an increased role, and the minutes might not be what he wants with the Kings. I don’t see him starting and playing much with Sabonis, so maybe 20 minutes/game? Basically the Lyles minutes and some of the Metu/Len time.

Jack
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May 15, 2023 10:58 am
Reply to  Hobby916

I respectively think you can’t compare Dedmond to Reid. IMO Reid would be a good fit next to Sabonis as a starter.

Hobby916
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May 16, 2023 7:30 am
Reply to  Jack

Not as players, but the fan fare around the potential signing.

murraytant
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May 16, 2023 10:10 am
Reply to  jwalker1395

Siakem is perfect….except he does not fit the age range and his contract is too big.
Leohard Miller in the draft except too young and all potential.
To get Siakem, Keegan would go.

Jack
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May 16, 2023 12:37 pm
Reply to  murraytant

Not worth it.

Want2win
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May 15, 2023 12:42 pm
Reply to  Jack

Sasha is far too slow footed to guard the 3.. Murray is struggles to guard athletic/smaller 3’s on the perimeter. Murray is a 3/4 defensively and Sasha is a 4.

murraytant
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May 16, 2023 10:16 am
Reply to  Want2win

yes

murraytant
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May 16, 2023 10:08 am
Reply to  Jack

Jack- we continue to agree- and I am so glad you did not trade me for Buddy.
Sasha is slow and stiff on defense. But he can shoot it, is not afraid of contact and does rebound a bit. On the other hand, the Kings need length, shot blocking and paint/rim protection. He does not bring any of that. He could be projected as a starter with Keegan moving to 3. But size at 3/4 is still an issue.
Of Lyles, Barnes and Metu, 1 or2 have to go. If Lyles stays (hope so), and Kings sign SV. then Barnes is odd man out. Just not enough minutes for those 3. And another 4/5 has to be brought in. DS back up- Q, Len, Metu, Rashaun all did not perform.
I like Reid as well- will he look for a starting gig? Can he get it in Sac?
I think Poetl is off the table- will want to start.
Collins is ok.
Nik Richards? Thomas Bryant?
With all the coaches fired, teams with new coaches will want to re-group and there may be some table scraps. Most of the coaches fired were from good teams, so most replacements will be vet coaches, preserving Jordi Fernandez.
24th pick? trade it?that opens up the market beyond just free agents.
Monte tends to go with proven experience in the draft and not “potential”. That narrows the 24 pick.
If TD goes, Kings need another shooter.

Jack
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May 16, 2023 12:44 pm
Reply to  murraytant

What do you think of Wood as a fit along side Domas. Doesn’t play defense very well but can shoot and stretch and rebound. If in a sign and trade we offer Holmes and #24. Just a thought.

murraytant
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May 16, 2023 4:11 pm
Reply to  Jack

I think Wood is a 10 dollar talent with a ten cent brain.
Just don’t trust him.

Klam
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May 14, 2023 3:21 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Would Sasha be PF and Keegan SF? Some of the local radio folks in Sac say they think Keegan would be better at SF ultimately down the line since he could use his quickness better there. I guess whoever is gonna be in the PF position, I hope they will help Sabonis with the rebounding.

Last edited 1 year ago by Klam
aplumley
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May 14, 2023 3:39 pm
Reply to  Klam

Sasha has decent rebounding numbers at 8.5 per 36. The SF vs. PF debate is a bit overblown, they’d be switching on D regardless.
I’m a little concerned with on ball defense. Scouting reports have that as a weakness due to lack of lateral quickness. I’d hate to have another guy that teams hunt on switches like what happened to Huerter so often.

I’ve only seen highlights, but man that release is fast and high. Just hope he brings enough on the other end of the court.

TheGrantNapear
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May 14, 2023 3:51 pm
Reply to  Klam

I’m assuming you’re referring to Sasha starting at the 4 and KM starting at the 3. To me that doesn’t work, a front line of KM, Sasha and Domas would be way too unathletic. To me the play is KM at the 3 and fill the 4 with an athletic stretch 4 that rebounds and plays D (easier said than done). Naz would be a good get as stated above.
It’s actually a pretty good overall FA class for rotational depth type players, I can see quite a few new Kings next season.

Klam
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May 14, 2023 3:53 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Yeah, hopefully now that the Kings are a good team with a good coach, there will be more FA that will be interested in coming here to fill those holes.

TheGrantNapear
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May 14, 2023 4:02 pm
Reply to  Klam

Stretch 4/5 FAs:
Naz
Christian Wood
Lopez
Kuzma
WCS (lol)

The ballsy move would be to go after Miles Bridges who’s a RFA.
Former teammate in Monk here who could or could not vouch for him.

49taylaners
May 14, 2023 4:14 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

It seems like Naz is popular pick for many. I would love Naz as a backup for Domas. My favorite free agent pick for PF would be Cameron Johnson. Shoots the three, good defensively, fits the timeline amongst our players, and hopefully, not as expensive as the other stretch 4/5’s. Start him at PF, Keegan at the 3, Sasha backup 3, and Lyles backup PF.

TheGrantNapear
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May 14, 2023 5:13 pm
Reply to  49taylaners

Fox
Huerter
Murray
Cam
Domas

Davion, Monk, Lyles, backup big, defensive minded backup wings

That would be pretty nice, shooting across the board with this starting lineup aside from Sabonis.
I wonder what kind of contract Cam is expected to get, I would think HB’s contract becoming Cam’s would be sufficient.

Jack
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May 14, 2023 7:33 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

IMO it will take quite a bit more than HB to pry Johnson away from the Nets. I really believe after watching a lot of tape of Naz Reid it will cost us less and stll have enough with some trade capital to get either Zach Collins or Jacok Poelti. Both would be great backups to Sabonis. That leaves Reid to play next to Sabonis as power forward. He is big and tough but can shoot the 3 and drives really well to the basket. Has a really good floater for a big man. Again it would cost the Kings less to get him and leave possile options on a good backup to Sabonis.

LongLivePeteCarril
May 14, 2023 6:22 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

The ballsy move would be to go after Miles Bridges who’s a RFA.

Seriously?

Jack
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May 14, 2023 7:34 pm

Sorry. For me to much baggage.

TheGrantNapear
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May 14, 2023 8:42 pm

The reality is that some team is going to sign him and sign him to a team friendly, prove it deal.
MM’s balls are hanging to the ground right now so I could see him taking some risks this offseason.

Jack
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May 15, 2023 3:28 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

I would rather take a risk on Jonathan Issac.

murraytant
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May 16, 2023 10:19 am
Reply to  Jack

Bring an orthopedic surgeon and a hospital bed.

Jack
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May 16, 2023 12:46 pm
Reply to  murraytant

Yeah your are right.

ArcoThunder
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May 14, 2023 9:16 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

You can’t bring in bridges. The domestic violence situation make the negatives of bringing him on to the team out weigh the positives.

All that drama he brings with him doesn’t seem to fit with the beam team vibes.

Jack
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May 15, 2023 6:28 am
Reply to  ArcoThunder

I agree. Would hurt the chemistry of the Kings.

aplumley
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May 16, 2023 12:49 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

One of my favorite things about this team was how easy they were to root for, not just because of the name on the front of the jersey, but the name on the back too. Miles Bridges would be very difficult to root for after he beat his girlfriend half to death in front of their two kids.

andy_sims
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May 16, 2023 4:00 pm
Reply to  Klam

That’s what I think, too. I don’t know if that will pay off this summer, but if I was an NBA player, I’d bet it’s more fun to run the Kings’ style than it is to defend it.

Brown is a players’ coach, but he also doesn’t let anyone slack without telling them about it. I’d think that the option of playing for him would be pretty tempting.

And as ever, the fan support is second to none.

eddie41
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May 15, 2023 10:06 am
Reply to  Adamsite

yeah, Vezenkov seems like a good fit. great fit on offense, and he’s a good rebounder. figure out the rotations later.

HB will be probably be able to get a better contract at another team that needs a SF and has a different salary situation.

Reid is an interesting player. a baller at the 4/5 who shoots 35% from 3. definitely would improve the rebounding. fits the timeline.

MidtownMike
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May 15, 2023 10:47 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I’d like to see them be able to bring Barnes back in addition to Sasha. His playoff performance should of hurt his chances of a really big contract, but still will likely be in the 10-15 range annually.

S&T deal for Christian Wood for base of Holmes and this years 1st.
Resign Barnes
Hopefully resign Lyles (he may want a bigger role??)

Wing and big rotations just improved drastically and our guards are still solid.

This allows us to hopefully bring Sabonis minutes down from 35 to 30.

PG: Fox 32, Mitchell 16
SG: Huerter 26, Monk 22
SF: Murray 30, Barnes 18
PF: Wood 20, Sasha 20, Barnes 8
C: Sabonis 30, Wood 10, Lyles 8

That’s a VERY solid 10 man rotation that should help extend people well into the playoffs with roughly that minutes distribution

Jack
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May 16, 2023 9:41 am
Reply to  MidtownMike

I could go for this if we can get Wood for Holmes and this years first.

murraytant
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May 16, 2023 10:21 am
Reply to  MidtownMike

Wood has 10-dollar skill and a ten-cent brain. Hard pass.

MidtownMike
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May 16, 2023 10:32 am
Reply to  murraytant

Dude’s an easy double double machine that hits 37/38% from three. Our team makeup, morale and coaching can absorb him (feels weird to say it). He is the best available fit on the market for us and it’s not even close.

andy_sims
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May 16, 2023 4:02 pm
Reply to  murraytant

He’s become a pretty great shooter, but in his career, he’s never played suitable defense even once.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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May 15, 2023 12:45 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Like others in this thread – Sasha Vezenkov would be highly unlikely to replace Harrison Barnes. To expect him to do that is a set up for disappointment and an unfair expectation to place on the rookie.

Is he:
Bojan Bodganovic?
Davis Bertans?
Nemanja Bjelica?
Better? Worse?

He is an unknown – just like every other rookie, though the former #57 pick in the 2017 NBA (De’Aaron Fox) Draft (Brooklyn) is now 27, soon to be 28 (Aug 6 1995).

I can guarantee that he won’t replace Harrison Barnes who’s only point of dismissal is the two week period in April of this year against the Warriors where he underperformed (as did Sabonis, Huerter and for the first three games, Keegan Murray for the starters).

I expect Sacramento to re-sign HB40 as he brings more than he gives up on this team at this time, even at $18-20M/season. And at 30 years old, he is in Lebron type shape with no signs of slowing down. Solid if not spectacular all the way around. A+ solid citizen.

If the Kings want Naz Reid, Mason Plumlee or Brook Lopez (and their likelihood of joining Sac is in decreasing order) than Vivek is going to have to have pay $$. It is the price of getting better and raising the talent level. As a long time STH (who gave up during COVID and has rejoined the ranks for next season) – yeah – He owes us fans at least that.

The Kings are in the most competitive Division in the NBA and GM McNair will have to flash the cash to upgrade this squad. And if they don’t upgrade…

To me, if the Kings want to swing for the fences – I like Herb Jones from New Orleans. NOP can match any offer – but will they? If the Kings want a serious upgrade at SF, he fits the bill. $50M/4 years? (He’s getting Kessler Edwards money currently). And yes – I still like our #17.

TheGrantNapear
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May 14, 2023 3:55 pm

Ja Moron. Nothing more to say on that, just an absolute clown, him and Jordan Poole should be besties.

We got the same conference Finals from the bubble year.
I think DEN is way better than LAL and should dispatch of them in 5.
The East should be interesting, BOS is clearly the better team but never underestimate Jimmy and Spoelstra.

ManilaBayCleanerCrew
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May 14, 2023 4:42 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Boston won last year because Jimmy carried that team on his back. This year they have found their rotation. This is going to be a great series. My predictions:

• Miami in 6
• Denver in 6

Last edited 1 year ago by ManilaBayCleanerCrew
TheGrantNapear
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May 14, 2023 5:14 pm

Wow MIA in 6! I hope you’re right. I’m rooting for MIA and DEN. If it’s BOS and LAL, I don’t know if I would even watch.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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May 14, 2023 10:50 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

I think Ja keeps a gun so he can shoot himself in the foot

murraytant
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May 16, 2023 10:24 am

if he shot from past the 3 point line, he would miss.

NowLoveThemOnceAgain
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May 14, 2023 9:46 pm

I like HB and would like to see him stay with the Kings while he still has alot of game in him at the ripe old age of 30. Yes he had a weak First Round playoffs, but still he brings alot of experience, unique skills and poise to a young, up and coming team. The Warriors really stymied the Kings’ offense which is why I think he was taken out of the game. Getting Vezenkov and having HB mentor him would be a great role, if HB’s willing.

RikSmits
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May 14, 2023 10:36 pm

Interesting to see how his game translates to the NBA. His shot and quick release don’t worry me. Whether he’ll be able to free himself for shots and adapt to the speed and athleticism of the NBA is a different question. Lateral speed seems like a concern defensively.

In any event, I expect he’ll need his first season to adapt to life in the NBA, the amount of games, the constant traveling, the different sort of refereeing etc.

bjax1
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May 15, 2023 4:11 am

Would love to bring Vezenkov over. He could slot in at the 3-4 and if sturdy enough and 6″9, the 5 in some small ball lineups. That said, I’m worried with all this talk of putting a big PF next the Sabonis, effectively moving him to the 4 on Defense. It worked this year cause Sabonis was Jokic light and you spread the floor. Look at Denver. Gordon and Porter at the forwards. I say resign Barnes. If we can sign Naz Reid as a backup center, I’m good with it, but not to replace Barnes.

murraytant
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May 16, 2023 10:27 am
Reply to  bjax1

don’t think that Sasha could ever play the 5. He has no vertical (unlike Lyles who has some)
He is a 4- will have trouble on D and teams will hunt him out. Rebounding will be solid and shooting will be very good.
Closest Euro comparison is Belly but Belly was taller. Michael Beasley?

Hobby916
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May 15, 2023 4:59 am

Barnes, Keegan, Lyles, Sasha would be fun offensively, however the defensive deficiencies would still be present.

Naz Reid seems more like a backup center than a starting PF with Domas.

Jalen McDaniels (currently in Philly) might be a more athletic option for the SF/PF backup minutes to provide athleticism and some defense.

Jonathan Isaac (injuries, I know) fits what the team needs at the starting 3/4. He might even be easier to get because of the injuries, but the risk is well known.

Almost every team needs help at the wing position, and quality options are low. Maybe Kessler Edwards carves out a role and money can be spent elsewhere.

Jack
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May 15, 2023 6:48 am
Reply to  Hobby916

IMO McDaniels is pretty skinny at 205 and would,t hold up with the bigger power forwards like a Draymond Green. This is why I ilke Reid. At around 250 and pretty agile he would fit well with Sabonis who has some trouble handing bigger rebounders. Reid would solve that problem. I like Jonathan Issac. Great defender but injury prone. If you want to take a low risk without breaking the bank you might want to do this. I understand he is healthy and ready to play this year so far.

murraytant
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May 16, 2023 10:32 am
Reply to  Hobby916

DS is a great player but his downside- elite athleticism, no rim protection and an average perimeter game result in the need for just the right guy next to him. But “right guy” is tough to find.
Jaren Jackson, Siakem, even Aaron Gordon but all not available.

nonstripedzebra
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May 15, 2023 6:48 am

This is great news and just really astute GMing by Monte to garner his rights. He is worth far more intrigue then the 49th pick regardless of a restructured deal.

I think Sasha has a better chance than a lot of similar in their prime Euro stars in translating to an impactful level just on the strengths of his game. To a production that rivals Barnes? I think is a big stretch. But do the Kings look in the trade market with some draft equity, Holmes’s expiring and a little room if they let him go to improve on HB? You could see the logic if a deal is possible.

That said the team should tread softly on that hypothetical. Barnes is a good starter, something we struggle in garnering outright on the open market. And unless its by trade with assets attached, I find it very unlikely we would make an improvement from free agency. It is the clear position and place to address if this team is to make another leap. Im not sure that means dismissing the bird in the hand at the moment though . Trades down the line with him on the books may be more beneficial then the space created in him walking.

Vezenkov though in the fold is a safety net. After all HB is UFA, this conversation of retention might be irrelevant. Adding a nice schematic addition with some upside is covering our fronts nicely. Excited to watch him play and hope we get this over the line.

Last edited 1 year ago by nonstripedzebra
Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
May 15, 2023 7:30 am

Solid points. I think it is also should be noted that it is entirely possible to both re-sign Barnes and bring over Sasha and fit him into an exception. My only hesitancy on that was the rumor last year that Sasha wanted a “larger role” in making the trip to America. Things may have changed now that the Kings are relevant and the team culture looks to be on of the best in the league.

Maybe a simpler option is to let Lyles walk, due to his likely higher contract demand, and slide Sasha into role off the bench. I’m not sure it moves the needle all that much, but lets the Kings bring back the same starting 5 for another year. Nothing wrong with consistency.

SmallBallReject
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May 15, 2023 2:31 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I am intrigued by Vezenkov, but how likely is NBA Venzekov better than Trey Lyles?

Adamsite
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May 15, 2023 3:13 pm

He may or may not be, but I’d think he’d be cheaper.

Jack
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May 15, 2023 9:10 am

I love Barnes but IMO he doesn’t fit the timeline of younger players working together and spending time together to form a team hat would be the future of the Kings FOR A LONG TIME. You need to improve and I am in the thought that Barnes who will be 31 doesn’t fit that timeline Monty is looking for. I heard that the 76ers might be interested in Barnes. Also to pick up someone like Naz Ried who at 23 and still learning would be a good fit at PW along side Saonis. I believe that’s a start. Now go find a backup center for Sabonis. PS Jonathan Issac might be someone to look at. Supposed to be clear of injuries and doesn’t it the Magics plans. When healthy a great defender and is still young.

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May 15, 2023 10:41 am
Reply to  Jack

I’d love to take a flyer on Issac. Potential lockdown defender and theoretically should be able to play the 4 next to Domas.

I’m hoping MM takes some flyers on players similar to how he took a flyer on Monk. You just never know what a change of scenery could do for a young player who hasn’t met expectations.

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May 15, 2023 2:23 pm
Reply to  Jack

I’m fine with getting rid of/upgrading from Barnes.

I think the Kings are poised to move forward and have an opportunity to shake it up.

Id make Heurter available and let Barnes go in order to upgrade with D and shooting 4 and 3. If a deal
is out there.

I don’t think Monte should be attached to these guys or anyone except Fox and Sabs (and Murray unless crazy star).

D and boards were a problem in the playoffs and moving forward. So was shooting – Barnes and Huerters shooting. Davion too in playoffs.

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May 15, 2023 8:52 am

Sasha seems like an extremely cheap and effective rotation piece who could give us some great minutes as the 7th-9th man in the playoffs. He fits the timeline and his skillset can complement the roster. 100% in favor of bringing him aboard.

He makes the decision on Barnes and Lyles trickier. He’s more redundant with Lyles imo, but Lyles is a known entity – and a good one at that. He shouldn’t be too expensive to resign and has shown interest in returning. It’d be hard letting a guy like that walk away, especially after his performance in the playoffs. I like the idea of him as a small-ball 5 with Vezenkov as the backup PF, but we’d need a certified rim runner to be the third center for situational purposes. Do we think that’s Queta? Because if it isn’t Queta, then why have we spent all this time on Queta? If we don’t have a cheap third option like Neemias at center, that makes me more hesitant on committing to Lyles as the backup 5, which would make him and Sasha have to compete for the same minutes at PF.

On the other hand, Barnes seems like the odd man out. He’s probably too expensive and doesn’t fit the timeline super well. We just can’t be dedicating our resources toward a guy with limitations on both sides of the ball who doesn’t show up during the playoffs (as the veteran leader, no less). It’s hard to see him walk since I love Barnes and he’s been a great King, but it just seems like it’s time to part ways. However, what if Barnes is willing to take a lesser contract to become the Andre Igoudala on this team, and eventually cede the starting spot when we have a better fit?

The great puzzle of this offseason for Monte is going to be the PF position. Sabonis is a center, period. You know his limitations on defense and with spacing – you need a solution. Keegan and HB are both too small to provide the necessary support with rebounding and rim protection. Vezenkov and Lyles are backups. I’d say the long-term solution at the 4 is not yet on this roster. But who is he and how do we get him? (Seriously, Toronto, what do you want for Pascal?)

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May 15, 2023 10:45 am
Reply to  jwalker1395

I’m in complete agreement with you about the 4 spot. Finding the right starter at 4 next to Sabonis is the key to the offseason.
Pakscal is going to cost too much, TOR drives a tough bargain, just not worth it imo. Plus there’s good young FAs available as well as lesser trade targets. I also want a better interior defender and rebounder at the 4 than what Paskal provides.

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May 15, 2023 10:18 am

I hope Sasha does come to Sacramento. From what I’ve read we shouldn’t expect an outstanding defender but he is MVP for a reason. I think it may be time to move in from Barnes unless he agrees to a short term lower contract and role as a back up. He will have one game in six where he puts up very good numbers then kind of disappear for multiple games. If the Kings are going to advance they need a talent upgrade at the forward position.

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May 15, 2023 10:47 am
Reply to  Mike120

I wonder if we can work a sign and trade with HB with a capped out team like the duds, suns, lakers etc.
If the duds want to take another run with their vet core, I’d take a chance on Kuminga.

Jack
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May 15, 2023 11:07 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

I hear that the 76ers are looking for a player like Barnes. Might be something to work out there. Don’t know much about Kuminga but will look hm up.

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May 15, 2023 1:43 pm
Reply to  Jack

They owe Tobias Harris another season of $39.3M. I don’t think HB40 is in their sights – but maybe.

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May 16, 2023 10:43 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

there are a number of good teams who would like HB- solid, stable, known quantity etc. Some have changed coaches and the new one will want to change from the old one.
Memphis needs an adult. (Aldama, Z. Williams?)
76ers. LAL, Toronto, Mavs etc. Sign and trade?

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May 15, 2023 11:25 am
Reply to  Mike120

I think just changing his role to a 20-25 min a night wing off the bench at the backup 3 and 4 would fit his career perfectly on this team. I think that’s still worth 12-14 mil a year, hopefully that conversation can be had and both sides agree.

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May 15, 2023 10:50 am

He’d be a nice little ROI on a #49 pick.

Last edited 1 year ago by RobHessing
Kosta
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May 15, 2023 1:47 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

How about ROY?

From MVP to ROY!

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May 15, 2023 2:00 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Or MIP – Most Imported Player.

TheGrantNapear
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May 15, 2023 11:39 am

I hope a team offers Austin Reaves a max contract which is something like 4/100.
Fakers can match but would love to see them have to pay max money.
Reaves is kind of a poor man’s Luka. I honestly wouldn’t mind if MM did a sign and trade: KH for Reaves.

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May 15, 2023 12:51 pm

Buy low on Ayton? Maybe a package that starts with HB, Richaun Holmes + picks. Bring Sasha off the bench and slide Keegan to the 3

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May 15, 2023 1:24 pm
Reply to  Tankathon

I don’t see the fit between Ayton and Domas. We need a stretch 4 defensive minded big next to Domas.

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May 15, 2023 1:47 pm
Reply to  Tankathon

If the Kings want to go big, I’d rather go after a stretch big like Brook Lopez. He can play outside on offense but clog up the paint on defense. Mo Bamba might be a poor man’s version of Lopez who could be had for far less, especially of the Lakers cut his partially guaranteed contract.

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May 15, 2023 3:36 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Brook is old and likely costs a pretty penny since it’ll be his last contract.
Mo Bamba just isn’t good imo lol. I think even Jerry admitted that in the last pod. I think at this point he is what he is, a deep bench big.
I’d take Christian Wood over those two. A good player who shouldn’t cost too much and I think the culture here with Coach Brown can elevate his game.

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May 15, 2023 4:05 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

I guess Bamba is exactly the kind of guy I’d take a flyer on. Bigs take longer to develop and the guy is younger than Fox. Injures have taken a toll on him. In his last solid year of 2020-21, he put up some solid numbers. He was just buried on a deep bench of bigs in Orlando.

I’m actually interested to see if he gets minutes against Denver because the Lakers are going to need some bigs to throw at Jokic.

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May 15, 2023 4:58 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Bamba remains doubtful for Game 1 and was not at today’s practice.

Lakers' Mo Bamba Out for WCF Game 1 vs. Nuggets Because of Ankle Injury

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May 15, 2023 5:27 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

Curse of The Magic Kingdom – Mo Bamba and Jonathan Isaac – they are Marvin Bagley III always injured and forever teasing with potential.

No thanks

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May 15, 2023 8:52 pm

Could very well be. I should say, I’d only take Bamba on a discount.

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May 16, 2023 10:46 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Bamba- looks good, plays bad

AnybodyButBagley
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May 15, 2023 1:55 pm

Sasha is a “maybe” for even surviving in the NBA at this point.

He has never even played an AAU game in the USA let alone an entire team of NBA players.

If he truly does have the skills and athleticism to hang with NBA players he has never been scouted by NBA scouts that will in a matter of weeks shut down everything he has done easily his entire playing career. Can he change his game as the NBA adjusts to him?

Does Sasha get here and ride the bench for two years, then go back to Olympiacos as a hero again and still get paid?

RobHessing
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May 15, 2023 2:10 pm

The reasoning does not make sense to me. Plenty of top flight international players have made it in the NBA, and many have not. The exact same can be said of AAU players.

Bogdan Bogdanovic would be similar to Vez in this regard, and he worked out fine, his knees notwithstanding. Jokic was a mid-2nd round pick.

The odds are inherently against the sum total of rookies each season, as only a small percentage of the total number pan out. But I sure don’t see the lack of AAU experience or the fact that he has honed his game internationally as reasons that Vez won’t make it.

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May 15, 2023 2:20 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

No who else didn’t grow up in an AAU system in the states? Giannis, Luka, Jokic, and more recently, Victor Wembanyama. This is not to mention some more local names in Peja, Vlade and of course no one should forget the Yeti.

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May 15, 2023 2:27 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Yeah, it just seems like such an odd bar placement. Luka didn’t play AAU but Bagley did, so maybe that’s why we took Bagley?

Vez sure looks like a guy that can put the Biscvitena in the basket. I’m intrigued. More importantly, Monte and Mikey seem to be intrigued. That’s good enough for me.

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May 15, 2023 2:41 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

put the bulgaricus in the cheese

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May 15, 2023 3:12 pm
Reply to  eddie41

Sasha has International stats dating back to 2011! They have AAU overseas – it’s called Pro Basketball.

The guy has played in the EuroLeague since age 16. He’s a Pro. Granted the game is different and the emphasis on stats and the type of play is different from AAU, NCAA and EuroLeague. But as the current crop of international stars have shown us – it’s Hoop!

Will his game translate? This is a guy who’s stats show him on a variety of squads. He has had to translate his game to those teams (and probably speaks 4 or 5 languages) and has found his place there. But there isn’t here.

It’s a risk – but a EuroLeague MVP has a greater chance of making it in the NBA then just anyone. The Kings didn’t do well with that early last season (Chima Moneke, KZ Okpala).

Rookie with risks. Same as it ever was.

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May 15, 2023 3:34 pm

Yup. I think it is important to mention that the guy is the best player on the best team in the best league outside of the NBA. Olympiacos is no joke and are in the final four of the Euro League Championships. The guy basically has the same pedigree and hardware that Bogi had when he came over. I think he’ll do just fine in the NBA.

Jack
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May 15, 2023 3:46 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Me too.

Jack
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May 15, 2023 3:44 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

That’s also good enough for me. Brown also likes him. I’d take there evaluations over anybody in the above

AnybodyButBagley
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May 15, 2023 5:15 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Plenty have made and plenty have failed. I hope he does make it. My point is he has never faced NBA competition and the US game.

AAU is an example of basic basketball….not any standard that has to be achieved.

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May 15, 2023 2:15 pm

He has never even played an AAU game in the USA let alone an entire team of NBA players.

This can be said for dozens of foreign born players so I’m not sure why you would hold it against Sasha.

he has never been scouted by NBA scouts that will in a matter of weeks shut down everything he has done easily his entire playing career. 

This feels like pure speculation on your part. I mean, he was drafted by an the Nets 6 years ago, so I’d call it a pretty good hunch that he was scouted. To me his career arc looks pretty similar to other Euros like Bojan, Bogi, and Nemenja.

AnybodyButBagley
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May 15, 2023 5:17 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

My sarcasm was never intended to set AAU as a gold standard. It is basic basketball in which many top prospects play each other. Not playing AAU means nothing. My point is his game has never been challenged by the best.

TheGrantNapear
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May 15, 2023 3:38 pm

I think he’ll be a rotational player right off the bat. Of course there‘s going to be an adjustment period for him coming from a different league. I’m guessing he’ll be a Nemanja caliber player, which in my book would be awesome.

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May 15, 2023 3:45 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

I kind of feel Nemanja is his floor. I’m hoping for more of a Nikola Mirotic or even Bojan Bogdanovic. Getting close to those two would be an absolute steal for the Kings

KANGZZZZZZZZZZZZ
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May 15, 2023 6:34 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Dude Mirotic was straight balling out after he got hit by his teammate haha strange form of motivation but it worked

Klam
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May 16, 2023 7:34 am
Reply to  Jman1949

No thanks to Draymond. I’ve enjoyed a drama-free season for the first time in so long and don’t want that kind of personality in our locker room. And who knows how much he wants to get paid.

Last edited 1 year ago by Klam
Mike120
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May 16, 2023 10:54 am
Reply to  Jman1949

Player option for $27M and a desire to stay. I don’t think he’s going anywhere. Cons: too old, loudmouth, out of control, “the Stomp”. Pros: tough, defense minded, playmaker.

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May 16, 2023 8:53 am
Last edited 1 year ago by Klam
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May 16, 2023 4:07 pm
Reply to  Klam

Come on, weren’t you a little surprised that Rivers has only been there three years? If someone had asked me, I’d have guessed five or six.

I don’t know what this means.

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May 16, 2023 4:21 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I hope it means re-tool with lots of players all available simultaneously.

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May 18, 2023 12:51 pm
Reply to  Klam

Docs stats in post season are absolutely pedestrian and horrible when it comes to elimination games and game 7’s

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