Sacramento Kings assistant Jay Triano scouting Vezenkov in Greece

2023-02-17T17:00:25+00:00 2023-02-17T23:58:37+00:00.

Aris Barkas

17/Feb/23 17:00

Sacramento Kings assistant Jay Triano has traveled to Greece to watch Olympiacos’ Sasha Vezenkov live

By Stavros Barbarousis, John Rammas /

While most of the NBA personnel are either in Utah for the All-Star Game or enjoying home the All-Star break, Sacramento Kings assistant coach Jay Triano traveled to Crete to watch Sasha Vezenkov.

Triano – pictured in the photo with Greek coach and Kings international scout Christos Marmarinos – was sitting courtside for the first game of Olympiacos in the Greek Cup Final 8, as Vezenkov scored 15 points in 19 minutes of action while his team got an easy 82-51 win over Aris. The Reds are expected to meet in the semifinal with their arch-rival Panathinaikos.

“I have seen him play on film. But with the All-Star break, it’s an opportunity to see him play live. Sometimes you see different things, live,” Triano told Eurohoops after the game, “He’s a very good teammate. Passes the ball well. He’s got a good feel for the game. A very smart basketball player.”

“He doesn’t need to dribble. He’s got size. He can see over defense. He can make a pass. He’s a good decision-maker too. I am really impressed with him,” he added to the publicly shared part of the scouting report.

“I just value basketball intelligence. Because if you have enough guys on the floor that have the basketball intelligence, you find a way to make the ball move and be in the right places,” mentioned Triano, “So, those are the things that I like the most.”

Vezenkov’s NBA rights belong to Sacramento and while there was contact between the two sides last summer, he decided to stay with Olympiacos.

Vezenkov also recently extended his contract with the Greek club, however, the new deal still includes NBA out clauses, that can be used in the summer.

“That’s going to be up to management. I am just a coach. I don’t have any say in that. But I am happy for him, that he is putting himself in a situation where he could make a decision,” commented Triano on the player potentially jumping to the NBA, “And it’s going to be a good one either way.”

While the Kings have an admirable season, Vezenkov is also setting the EuroLeague on fire being the prime candidate to win the MVP trophy for the 2022-23 season, making a possible move to the NBA the natural next step, especially, if he wins the EuroLeague trophy with Olympiacos this year.

“If you look at the track record, the best players in EuroLeague made a great transition in the NBA. He has that opportunity for sure,” recalled the 64-year-old coach.

The fact that Triano made the trip to Greece is one more indication of the strong interest of the Kings. Vezenkov himself during the recent Eurobasket where he was one of the standouts with the national team of Bulgaria talked on the issue.

“It’s a big season”

As Vezenkov said at the time to Eurohoops: “It’s a big season, I have a big priority with my team Olympiacos in what will be a very difficult year. My only thought is to stay focused and stay healthy, to give everything I can [to Olympiacos]. And then we will see. Next summer is ten months away. The first thing is to be healthy and we will see”.

It should be noted that Vezenkov’s agents had already started talks at the time with Olympiacos for a possible contract extension. Practically the new contract with Olympiacos provides the player with more stability.

If the Kings really want to add him and present him with a financial offer that can be a token of their appreciation and practically guarantees him a solid presence in the team rotation, then anything can happen.