Prominent European Prospect Injures Knee

Sasha Vezenkov's winding road to the NBA has taken another turn. The EuroLeague MVP and Sacramento Kings prospect injured his knee during the Greek League finals, jeopardizing his long-awaited debut on American soil.

Vezenkov had to be helped off the court after falling on a rebound attempt. Initial reports on the injury are promising, but further testing will be needed. However, his participation in the Olympiacos' upcoming Game 3 against Panathinaikos is considered highly doubtful. He was expected to finally sign a deal with the Kings later this offseason.

A 6-foot-9, 225-pound forward with solid shooting numbers across the board this season (53.6% from the field, 37.8% from three, 87.9% on free throws), Vezenkov is a two-time Greek League MVP in addition to this year's EuroLeague MVP. As a prospect, his major red flag is his age: he turns 28 years old in August.

The Kings acquired the rights to Vezenkov via trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2022, but he was initially drafted by the Brooklyn Nets way back in 2017. He has yet to make his way stateside, but the Kings evidently believe he can be swayed.

Teams can't officially open negotiations with unsigned draft picks until after the June 2022 draft, but the Kings have made their intentions clear. General Manager Monte McNair and head coach Mike Brown have both indicated they intend to engage in talks following the conclusion of the Olympiacos season.

Despite an early playoff exit against the Golden State Warriors, the Kings are riding high. They ended an agonizing 16-year playoff drought, and Brown won the NBA's Coach of the Year award. If ever there was a time they could entice a tantalizing potential star to jump on board, it's now. Hopefully, Vezenkov's injury won't interfere.

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