Dmitry Kulagin wants guaranteed playing time on the Sacramento Kings
Here’s my translation.
The Kings first showed their interest in Dima in spring, and after he played great at summer camp in Treviso they wanted to use their second round pick to draft him. They didn’t, but they remained interested. Sacramento’s scouts have attended games of Russian national team in Eurobasket qualification this summer. Right now there are talks about signing Dmitry as a free agent.
What is the possibility of Kulagin signing with the Kings this autumn?
It’s 50/50. It all depends on Dima himself. He has to choose what he prefers: to play a decisive role on a strong European team or to fight for becoming one of the main players on an NBA team.
When will it become clear?
I think, before the end of this week.
Ryzhov also talked about his position on Kulagin’s free agency:
If a player wasn’t drafted, like Kulagin, you can talk to any NBA club and at the same time consider offers from Russia and Europe. It is not necessary to jump at any opportunity in the NBA, because there they don’t sign free agents for their potential – you either contribute right away or go home.
NBA is my goal, it is the reason why I play basketball. And I am sure that sooner or later I will end up there. Right now agents are in talks with Sacramento about my role on the team. It is a matter of principle for me what the final offer will be like. If I get guaranteed playing time, I will take the offer. But to go to the NBA and be a benchwarmer there – I don’t see a reason to do it. I don’t want just to make it to the league, I want to play there. I don’t rule out that in order to better prepare myself I will have to stay in Europe for some time longer.
According to your agent, Sacramento’s scouts were impressed by your game at Treviso camp. Did you manage to talk to any of them there?
Yes, I have talked to the scouts and to Pete D’Alessandro, general manager of the Kings. They really did like what they saw in Treviso.
What was the camp like?
We went there with my brother Misha, we prepared ourselves for the event. All of the players – young talents from all over the World – were divided into four teams, and every day we took part in exhibition games and drills against each other. Everything was played five-on-five. Also, U20 national teams of USA and France practiced there too, and in evenings they played against the select team of the event, which I was invited to twice. In one of those game I had great stats and hit the game-winner. After three days of the tournament I was named to the All-Tournament starting five.