Brandon Knight, Kemba Walker, Klay Thompson, Kawai Leonard, Nikola Vucevic and Kenneth Faried; These are all players that the Washington Wizards could have selected with the 6th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. They decided to go with Jan Vesely instead, and boy are they kicking themselves for that one so far.
Vesely has tremendous size, at 6-foot-11, 240 pounds, and a skill set that many have compared to a young Dirk Nowitzki. But needless to say, it has not panned out in his pro career thus far. Vesely still has time to turn things around, as he is only 23 years old, but this will certainly be his last chance with the Wizards.
Vesely is in the final year of his rookie contract, which means the Wizards have to decide fairly quickly whether or not they want to pick up his $4.2 million team option for a fourth year. It could very well be that they have already made their decision, but if not, here is what Vesely needs to improve upon in year three.
His career averages of 3.6 points and 3.4 rebounds certainly are not worth the team option. If he has any chance of sticking around with the Wizards, he needs to be more aggressive on the offensive end. He needs to score first on a second unit that will desperately be looking for points.
It is going to be tough for Vesely to earn some burn early on, but big men Nene Hilario, Emeka Okafor and Al Harrington have all proven to be very fragile throughout their careers. With a healthy John Wall and another year of Bradley Beal combined with rookie Otto Porter Jr, the Wizards are thinking playoffs this year. While Vesely might not be a part of their long term plans, he has to try and make the most out of his opportunities, if he gets any.
Could you imagine if this team had Faried up front or sharp shooting Thompson on the wing? Alas, the Wiz Kids took Vesely with the pick, and have him for at least one more year. Who knows where he will be after that, but he better give it all he’s got if he gets a chance to play this year.