In 2011, DraftExpress projected Dmitry Kulagin would become a first-round pick.
But Kulagin had fallen off the radar since. A couple years ago, Draft Express wrote:
NBA teams continue to admire his talent, but have the some reservations about his approach to the game, wondering about his overall focus and whether he will be able to live up to his significant potential as a 6-5 versatile and creative point guard.
Still, his potential remained evident. He really impressed Brett Pollakoff at Eurocamp this year:
My favorite player of the day was Dmitry Kulagin, a 21-year old 6’6″ combo guard who has been to Eurocamp in the past, but this time was by far his most impressive showing. His activity on both ends of the floor was immediately noticeable, and he was in attack mode from the moment he stepped on the court. Kulagin finished 6-of-10 from the field in his two games combined, and his athleticism and effort was a joy to watch.
Kulagin, now 22, was automatically entered into the 2014 draft, and he went unselected. That makes him an unrestricted free agent, and at least one NBA team is intrigued.
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:
Russian shooting guard Dmitry Kulagin is receiving interest from the Sacramento Kings and is seriously considering coming to the NBA, a source told Yahoo Sports.
It’s possible Kulagin is just a standard undrafted free agent, someone with little value. Just a couple months ago, any team in the league could have drafted him and none did.
But if teams were worried about his desire to join the NBA, it’s possible he flew under the radar. Maybe he really is in demand now, something Spears devoting an article to him would suggest.
Kulagin’s salary, should he join the NBA, will reveal which is the case. Most undrafted free agents draw only minimum contracts or slightly more. If Kulagin gets more, that would imply something about his stock.
The Kings, though hard-capped, still have the bi-annual exception and room to offer its entirety to Kulagin. They can also contribute up to $600,000 toward his buyout without it counting against the cap.
That might be enough to lure Kulagin – if it even takes that much.