It’s no secret that the Washington Wizards haven’t necessarily made the most of their opportunities or high draft picks. The 2011 NBA Draft was perhaps the most mistake-filled draft for the Washington Wizards, despite getting much praise for their selections by pundits around the league.
Three years after the 2011 NBA Draft, the Wizards have made some significant progress and virtually everybody they selected that year are no longer in the nation’s capital. Washington completed a successful run in the NBA Playoffs this past season, and although they didn’t need their picks from the 2011 draft to make progress, we’ll still take a look at where the three players they picked have ended up since their time with he Wizards came to an end.
Jan Vesely, 6th overall pick:
This paragraph on Jan Vesely will probably be longer than his NBA career. After being picked sixth overall by the Wizards in 2011, a decision that was met by disappointment from much of Washington’s fan base, Jan Vesely is currently out of the NBA after just three seasons in the league. For more on Jan Vesely’s quick NBA exit, check out this article by CSN Washington’s Ben Standig.
With hopes of Jan Vesely some day becoming John Wall‘s running mate, he was picked because of his athleticism and potential, and it obviously never panned out. Vesely’s inability to do anything besides run and jump was quickly apparent, and despite playing on a rather terrible Wizards team, he quickly found himself on the end of Washington’s bench. However, when Jan Vesely did get a chance to play, it didn’t end well.
Jan Vesely averaged less than 4 points and 4 rebounds in three seasons, while shooting a horrid 40% from the free throw line. Nicknamed “Airwolf” by Wizards fans, Jan Vesely was a fun player to watch for all the wrong reasons, but he did show flashes of his athleticism with a few outstanding dunks every so often. He was traded during the NBA trade deadline to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Andre Miller, and didn’t really get much of a chance to play in Denver either. His lack of confidence on the court really hurt him in Washington and he never really bounced back after a bad rookie season. He was labeled as a “bust” before he even stepped on an NBA court and unfortunately he carried that label with him for three straight seasons.
Vesely’s most impressive move in his NBA career was this one he pulled on draft night.
Jan Vesely is just 24 years old and a return to the NBA isn’t completely impossible, but it looks like he’ll spend next season overseas with Fenerbache Ulker.
Chris Singleton, 18th overall pick:
Chris Singleton was expected to get picked in the lottery after a successful run with Florida State, but he slipped to 18, and it looked like the Washington Wizards found themselves a steal. Well, as it turns out, Chris Singleton wasn’t the player that we all expected him to be coming out of college.
Washington needed to find a defensive wing player, and it looked like Chris Singleton would be the perfect fit since he won ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2010. Rashard Lewis became Washington’s starting small forward after Gilbert Arenas was shipped to Orlando, and that experiment didn’t end well. Lewis really struggled to make shots and he left much to be desired defensively, so Chris Singleton was eventually given the chance to start.
Singleton didn’t really help the Wizards offensively, especially since he struggled to handle the ball, but he played better than Rashard Lewis at times. With that said, his great defense didn’t necessarily translate to the NBA and he was eventually pushed out of the starting lineup by Trevor Ariza and Martell Webster.
Best 3-man draft: Wizards. Vesely (next Blake). Singleton. Shelvin Mack. OK, JWall. You've got lots of new toys. Show us something, kid.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) June 24, 2011
The Washington Wizards wanted Chris Singleton to play the “stretch 4″ position and that didn’t end well either. Singleton played just 25 games this past season for Washington, but he still has some potential and could be a decent fit for a team looking to develop a defensive wing player. The Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers have supposedly expressed interest in Chris Singleton, who’s an unrestricted free agent.
Shelvin Mack, 34th overall pick:
Coming into the 2012 NBA season, the Washington Wizards desperately needed to acquire a backup point guard. It seemed like they found a match with Shelvin Mack, who helped lead Butler to two national championship game appearances.
Mack, who was Washington’s second round pick, has had the most success in the NBA out of all three of their selections. Ironic, isn’t it?
Like most young point guards, Shelvin Mack needed time to develop, but was thrust right into the rotation and didn’t have much success right out of the gate. He struggled to adjust to the NBA game and looked lost on both sides of the floor. Mack was eventually waived by the Wizards, picked up by the Philadelphia 76ers, only to get picked up by the Wizards again. How did that end? Well, Shelvin Mack got waived again.
Shelvin Mack eventually got another chance with the Atlanta Hawks and made the most of his opportunity. He averaged close to 8 points, 4 assists and over 2 rebounds per game with the Hawks this past season. Mack recently agreed to a three-year deal with the Hawks for over $7 million. He’s been a serviceable NBA backup point guard with the Hawks, who did a terrific job in developing him, and now that the Wizards could use another guard, it’s really ironic that their lone ‘good’ pick was essentially cut from the team.