Nets stash Aleksandar Vezenkov is working out in Orlando with his personal trainer after signing a new deal late this week to play for Greek powerhouse Olympiacos — and its new coach, NBA veteran David Blatt. His choice of workout gear left no doubt of his ultimate ambition. The Nets took Vezenkov in the second round a year ago.
The Nets see him as an elite shooter...
The new contract and new coach gives the Nets second round pick from last June a chance to make up for a year of lost development. F.C. Barcelona’s two coaches this year, Sito Alonso and Svetislav Pesic, may not have agreed on much but they and ownership decided to give minutes to players without NBA ambitions, leaving Vezenkov —as well as the Nets pick in this year’s draft, Rodions Kurucs— on the bench.
The two eventually bonded.
“[Vezenkov is] a good guy, a nice guy. We spent a lot of time together because he didn’t play either last year so we spent a lot of time in the gym,” Kurucs told The Post.
“He’s a great guy, a good player. He taught me a lot of things on the court, off the court. We were good friends for sure, because we were always together. Definitely his strong suit is the shot.”
With Blatt as his coach, Vezenkov’s NBA ambitions won’t be an issue this coming season. The Nets have been investing in European scouting under Sean Marks. In fact, the Nets GM has used his last three draft picks on European players: Vezenkov in 2017, Dzanan Musa and Kurucs this year. Last this week he made sure the rights of French league guard Isaia Cordinier, taken in the 2016 Draft, were included in the Jeremy Lin trade.
In addition to now working with an NBA coach, Vezenkov will have a lot of fan support at Olympiakos. who holds a Greek passport as well as ones from Bulgarian and Cypus, was a star in the Greek League before joining Barcelona three years ago,
- Nets stash pick bolts one European power for another - Brian Lewis - New York Post