'Made me look like a villain': Vasiljevic slams Kings

Dejan Vasiljevic has accused former club the Sydney Kings of painting him as a "villain" following his surprise return to the NBL with the Adelaide 36ers.

Vasiljevic won two NBL titles with Sydney but in June took up an option in his contract that permitted him to leave to explore options overseas.

The NBA's Washington Wizards signed him for the Summer League and then to an Exhibit 10 deal that could have turned into a fully-fledged NBA contract for the upcoming season.

Instead, Wes Unseld Jr's side waived the Australian before pre-season training camp began.

The decision left Vasiljevic keen to return to the NBL rather than remain with Washington's G-League affiliate the Capital City Go-Go.

But a condition of releasing the 26-year-old from his contract in the first place was that the Kings could block any return to an NBL rival this season.

The Kings, who no longer had a roster spot left for Vasiljevic, were surprised to hear of his desire to return to the NBL last week.

"We originally amended the contract in good faith and completed our roster with the understanding that DJ would play internationally this season," said chief executive Chris Pongrass.

"We are disappointed with how this has been handled and another NBL team's role in this process.

"While there is no perfect system, this circumstance highlights the inequity NBL clubs have in terms of protecting their interests as opposed to other leagues in the world."

Fronting the press as a Sixer for the first time on Wednesday, Vasiljevic hit back at his former club.

"They made me look like a villain," he said.

"They made Adelaide look like the villain, honestly I am going to walk away from it and be the bigger man."

The 26-year-old claimed during the press conference that "there is more to it than people think", rejecting claims that he turned his back on the Kings.

"I took my time and wanted to make the right decision and Adelaide just came on board."

Vasiljevic said he weighed up his options while overseas and ultimately his return to the NBL came down to wanting to play in a competitive league with an eye to Paris 2024.

"This gives me a greater chance to get noticed for the Olympics, so that's why I decided to return," he said.

In terms of his Paris goal, Vasiljevic was confident he could make the Boomers' team.

"I hope so, I think I'm right there, I just need to prove myself a little bit more and we'll just see what happens," he said.

The two-time NBL champion averaged 13.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists a game for the Kings last season.

He also hopes to slot straight into the Adelaide line-up.