Many Wizards fans, including myself, were questioning the Jan Vesely selection. While playing for Partizan in Serbia, Jan gained notoriety for playing an “American style of basketball”. While playing in Europe Jan was known for his explosive dunks and emotion. Fans here in the states criticized the lack of information on the young Czech, but most importantly, the fans were concerned about him going so high in the draft. Is a tall, explosive, unknown European prospect really worth the sixth overall pick? Some said that the 2011 NBA draft’s lack of talent put the Wizards in line to take a chance on Vesely. Others wanted the Wizards to draft a solidified talent like San Diego State’s Kawhi Leonard or trade up to pursue a player with more upside such as Derrick Williams.
Today we’ll revisit the Jan Vesely pick. Could the Wizards have gotten a player with the same or more production later in the draft? Some say they could’ve. Let’s use Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried as an example. Faried is averaging a solid 7.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game as a rookie as the 22nd pick in last June’s draft. Meanwhile, Vesely is averaging less than 3 points and three rebounds per game.
But what can Jan provide in the future?
Some compare Jan to a young Andrei Kirilenko because of his potential on the defensive end an one of Jan’s main strengths comes from running the floor with John Wall. After all, how many 6’11 combo forwards are there in the NBA? Not many.
If Jan improves his ability to hit open jump shots, he can become a solid player in this league. Hitting his free throws wouldn’t hurt either. Right now he is shooting a lousy 36.8 percent from the foul line, and has yet to hit a jump shot in a regular season game.
His most memorable NBA game thus far came against the Detroit Pistons when he scored 10 points to go along with eight rebounds and three blocks. The Pistons game is only one glimpse of what Vesely can do both on the offensive and defensive end.
Hopefully Jan continues to improve and shows why he was worth the 6th overall pick.
Making a single jump shot would be a good start.