Sacramento, CA, United States (4E Sports) – The Sacramento Kings made history Friday as they inked New Mexico State center Sim Bhullar, making him first player of Indian descent to sign a contract with an NBA squad.
The Kings did not reveal terms of the contract.
A 7-foot-5, 360-pound center, Bhullar was on the Kings team that won the summer league title last month in Las Vegas, but he played sparingly, averaging just 2.5 minutes in four games.
Bhullar will compete in training camp for a spot backing up starting center DeMarcus Cousins but more likely will play for the team’s NBA Development League affiliate in Reno, to develop his skills.
“I’ve long believed that India is the next great frontier for the NBA, and adding a talented player like Sim only underscores the exponential growth basketball has experienced in that nation,” Kings Owner Vivek Ranadive said in a statement.
“While Sim is the first player of Indian descent to sign with an NBA franchise, he represents one of many that will emerge from that region as the game continues to garner more attention and generate ever-increasing passion among a new generation of Indian fans,” he added.
In two seasons at New Mexico State, Bhullar averaged 10.2 points and 7.2 rebounds in 25.3 minutes in 65 games.
He was a two-time Western Athletic Conference Tournament MVP and helped the Aggies make the NCAA Tournament in 2013 and 2014.