#6: Jan Vesely
The Washington Wizards have selected forward Jan Vesely from the Czech Republic with the sixth overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft
The Wizards have made it clear they intend to build their team around last year’s number one overall pick John Wall, and who better to pair him with than a young, athletic, 6’11” forward who isn’t afraid to run the floor and finish in transition?
Vesely is known as a high-energy player who is considered by many scouts to be the most NBA-ready player from Europe. He has good hands and never stops moving, which is a perfect compliment to Wall.
Vesely does have some flaws in his game he will need to improve if he is to reach his full potential. Most of his points come off dunks in transition and put backs on the offensive glass because he isn’t comfortable getting to the rim in half court sets.
For Vesely to become a serious threat offensively he will have to improve his dribbling so he can use that length and athleticism in the half court. Also, for a small forward, he doesn’t possess much range on his jump shot and he doesn’t possess the strength or body weight to hold his position in the post.
For someone of Vesely’s height, he was a surprisingly poor rebounder last season. Some of that can be attributed to his slender frame; he weighed in at only 240 pounds. Vesely will have to add muscle to his frame while not losing his athleticism if he is going to help the Wizards get back to the playoffs and out of the lottery.
The Wizards made it clear they were going to take the best player available, as long as it wasn’t a point guard, and Vesely was the player left they had rated highest on their board. The Wizards probably aren’t thinking playoffs yet, but if Vesely turns into the player the Wizards believe he can be, it shouldn’t take long for them to return to the postseason for the first time since 2008?