The Kings signed New Mexico State center Sim Bhullar on Friday, making him the first player of Indian descent under contract to an NBA team.
“Dreams do come true!” Bhullar posted on his Twitter account. “Officially signed my first NBA contract with the @sacramentokings!!”
Bhullar, a 7-foot-5, 360-pound center, was on the Kings team that won the summer league title last month in Las Vegas, but he averaged just 2.5 minutes in four games.
He will compete in training camp to back up starting center DeMarcus Cousins but more likely will play for the team’s NBA Development League affiliate in Reno, where he would get more playing time 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 principal 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.”
In two seasons at New Mexico State, Bhullar averaged 10.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.9 blocks 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.