Jan Vesely in 2012-13 with the Wizards: Confidence at Sea, Searching for Dry Land | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Jan Vesely in 2012-13 with the Wizards: Confidence at Sea, Searching for Dry Land

Updated: May 13, 2013

[Wizards 2012-13 Player Reviews from the TAI crew are going down; let’s reflect—index:
Jannero PargoJason CollinsShaun LivingstonShelvin MackCartier MartinEarl Barron,
Jan VeselyChris SingletonTrevor BookerGarrett TempleEmeka OkaforTrevor Ariza,
Martell WebsterA.J. PriceJordan CrawfordKevin SeraphinBradley BealNeneJohn Wall.]

Jan Vesely

6-11 : Height
240 lbs. : Weight
23 : Age
2 : Years NBA Experience
1 : NBA Team

Drafted by the Wizards 6th overall in 2011. 

Time as a Wizard in 2012-13

51 : Games
4 : Starts
601 : Minutes

0.89 out of 3 stars

Average Truth About It.net DC Council Game Rating
{Vesely evaluated over 23 games} 

7.6 PER

NBA historical PER contribution equivalent:
maybe Andris Biedrins for the 2012-13 Golden State Warriors (7.7)
maybe Chris Mihm for the 2007-08 Los Angeles Lakers (7.7),

.059 Win Shares/48 Minutes

NBA historical WS/48 contribution equivalent:
maybe Todd Fuller for the 1998-99 Utah Jazz (.059),
maybe Greg Dreiling for the 1994-95 Cleveland Cavaliers (.059)

With Jan Vesely on the Court…

The Wizards offense scored 3.8 points more per 100 possessions (OffRtg)
The Wizards defense allowed 4.3 points more per 100 possessions (DefRtg)
Plus/Minus per 48 minutes: minus-3.4

Numbers : Per 36 Minutes

7.5 : Points
7.3 : Rebounds
1.0 : Blocks
0.9 : Steals
1.7 : Assists
1.6 : Turnovers
6.4 : Fouls

0.82 PPP

Vesely had 155 offensive possessions with the Wizards that ended with a FGA, TO or FTs, and he scored 0.82 Points Per Possession (PPP) on those, ranked 346th in the NBA (via Synergy Sports Technology). Defensively, he allowed 0.92 PPP over 25 possessions.


50% Field Goals (57-114)
30.8% Free Throws (12-39)

[stats via NBA.com/stats and Basketball-Reference.com]


Jan Vesely in 2012-13 with the Wizards: Confidence at Sea, Searching for Dry Land

by Lukas Kuba (@Luke_Mellow)

In late March, I emailed several bloggers in the ESPN TrueHoop Network (18 to be exact), asking them an array of questions pertaining to Jan Vesely.

“Honestly haven’t seen enough of him to have much of an opinion. Anything I could offer would be fairly misinformed, unfortunately,” wrote Jared Wade of the Indiana Pacers blog, 8 Points, 9 Seconds. That was a common response. Most haven’t seen enough of Vesely to have much to say about him.

If you look at the 29 other players taken in the 2011 first round, it’s hard to have a neutral option of at least 85 percent of them. Yet here we are with Jan Vesely, the sixth overall pick.

No one from the group of emailed NBA watchers had anything positive to say about Vesely. The most critical opinion came from Kalen Deremo of the Denver Nuggets blog, Roundball Mining Company:

“He was clearly a bust even before the draft. I remember all the hype about him and all everyone said was how athletic he was and how good he ran the floor, etc., but nobody said anything about his skills or one aspect of the game he could do extremely well. I haven’t seen enough of him to make definitive statements but from what I have seen he just looks raw and unskilled. You’d think after this long in the NBA he’d have improved. I think there’s a spot for him if he wants to put his mind to becoming a better player. Otherwise, there’s always Europe.”

If Vesely has one thing going for him, he’s an honest young man who doesn’t make excuses. Right after the last game in Chicago, a CzechSport.cz reporter asked Jan about feelings about the just-concluded season.

“It was a difficult season, we had a bad start to the season and lots of injured players,” said Vesely. “But we gradually improved and we managed to win several games in a row, too. So, by and large, there’s some contentment in the [Wizards] organization.

“In my rookie season, I got used to playing with John Wall, so it was definitely one of the factors [why I struggled]. But I can’t excuse my poor play on the absence of a point guard. In basketball, injuries happen every so often. If I want to play on this level I gotta be able to cope with it. I wanted to break-through in my second season but unfortunately, it didn’t happen.

“I should’ve shown something, shown my skills off a bit, and I did not do that. It’s not the same as in Belgrade, where I still was a young boy. The third season with the Wizards is going to be crucial. I gotta give everything into it.”

Vesely has been candid about his struggles, saying, “they are mainly in my head. I was lacking self-confidence. This is what I have to work on. It’s all about the head. I have to work on my individual skills and mainly on my psyche.”

Still, the proverbial black clouds are rollin’ up the valley for Vesely’s NBA career. Last month, the Czech national team coach dubbed Vesely as “still an unfinished product.” A Czech publication even ran this headline: “Vesely’s Second Season Was a Severe Disappointment.”

But there were beams of light, if you will. Vesely’s minus-3.4 per 48 minutes was better than Chris Singleton (-4.7), Kevin Seraphin (-6.1), Jordan Crawford (-7.4), and Trevor Booker (-8.2). He was the only Wizard to shoot 50 percent from the field. And if you’re looking at which young big was best paired with Wall, the order would go like this: Wall/Seraphin: 492 minutes, +2.1; Wall/Vesely: 117 mins, +0.8; Wall/Singleton: 287 minus, -0.2; Wall/Booker: 393 mins., -3.8.

Poor play ultimately falls on Vesely’s shoulders, but he’s also been put into an unenviable situation. The Wizards have a less-than-stellar track record when it comes to player development. Nor do they seem to turn to the D-League for developmental help—only Andray Blatche, Peter John Ramos, and Hamady N’diaye have been sent down while still on the official roster (Shelvin Mack only found the D-League once the Wizards had cut him). Leonsis has shown interest in owning his own D-League team, but Washington has clearly not advanced to that point as a franchise. The San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers, and, as of April 2013, the Philadelphia 76ers each own a D-League team. Several NBA franchises have a single-team affiliation with a D-League team, the Wizards currently do not.

That said, Vesely’s camp was granted assurance by the Wizards that he would not be sent down to the D-League, where, one could argue, it would be tougher for Vesely to develop via language barriers and the inability for Washington leadership to take a more hands-on approach. Sure, pride and the hope that Vesely would somehow crack Randy Wittman’s rotation also fueled desires from Vesely’s handlers to keep him at the top level. But persistent injuries to other Wizards became the prevailing factor to why he wasn’t sent down. Again, without owning a team, the Wizards have less control over minor league development, and in July 2011, their affiliate was located all the way in Iowa. (The 76ers purchased a franchise, the Utah Flash, on hiatus for the past two seasons, and relocated them closer to Delaware.)

Still, could Vesely have used game experience on a lower lever to build his confidence? The start of the season was a disaster for the team, and as time progressed, Jan found himself in a role of the fifth big in a four-man frontcourt rotation. Nene and Emeka Okafor are both proven, quality veterans, and most times it seems that both Kevin Seraphin and Trevor Booker are better players than Vesely. Jan desperately needed playing time to develop his skills against live NBA competition, but all he got was a bouquet of DNP-CDs, losing confidence along the way. He played 601 total (mostly semi-garbage-time) minutes, which is just not enough for a kid who needs time.

Vesely played 25 or more minutes twice this season. Bismack freaking Biyombo had 48 such games. (#IfVeselyWasOnTheBobcats) The sophomore Honza appeared in 51 total games. Only six players from the first round of the 2011 draft played in less games than him: Iman Shumpert (45, but played way more minutes than Vesely), Donatas Motiejunas (44), Nolan Smith (40), Jordan Hamilton (40), Cory Joseph (28), and JaJuan Johnson (0 – he’s not in the NBA anymore).

Six players from the 2011 second round played in more games than Vesely: Kyle Singler (82), Chandler Parsons (76), Isaiah Thomas (79), Lavoy Allen (79), E’Twaun Moore (75), and Charles Jenkins (59).

Not many prime-time producers have emerged from playing within a 500-to-650-minute window during their sophomore season. Gerald Wallace, Jayson Williams, Antonio Daniels, Dennis Scott, and Spud Webb are some of the better examples who have. Will Vesely’s game elevate like Larry Sanders, or will it go the way of Luke Babbitt? Could he turn into a Kris Humphries-like contributor, or is he another Yinka Dare? Maybe Vesely is best suited as a future Bill Wennington or Greg Foster.

“It definitely could’ve been better but I don’t think about it now, it’s already [in the rearview mirror]. There’s a summer [of basketball] ahead of me and I have to prepare for next season in order to play better,” said Vesely on the lack of playing time, ever-ready to move forward.

The day after the season ended, Jan revealed his summer plans to Czech Television. “On Saturday [April 20], I will fly to visit my family in the Czech Republic, and once I’m there at home, I‘ll unwind. During June and July I’ll be in Los Angeles working out and preparing for my third NBA season, and in August I’ll join the [Czech] national team before the EuroBasket tournament. But first we have to get the insurance of my contract thing resolved.”

While spending time in L.A., Vesely plans to work out with a Slovenian coach who first got him as a 16-year-old kid. “He’s crazy into basketball. He’ll instill confidence in my head,” says Vesely. And it’s no secret that he’ll be looking to boost himself at EuroBasket. “I’m immensely looking forward to playing for the [Czech] national team, it’s a long time since I played [for my country]. It’s going to be a nice change for me.”

Vesely’s teammates still seem to believe in him, or at least see through the youth to potential, particularly A.J. Price.

“Jan’s a great, great young talent, I think he‘s gonna be a phenomenal player, when he comes into his own,” said Price toward the end of the season. “You know, right now, he’s still trying to find himself, his game in the NBA. But he’s got all the skills to do everything, and I think next year’s gonna be a big year for him.”

With the biggest summer of his sporting life ahead of the once-celebrated “Airwolf,” Wizards fans can only hope for the best. Hope that Vesely gets stronger, hope that he takes thousands of mid-range jumpers, hope he excels out west at summer league and overseas at EuroBasket 2013, hope his ship finds the shore. Because hope, at least, is always the last one to die, but two feet on dry land means the journey can continue.

A.J. Price on Jan Vesely

{via 2012-13 exit interviews}

Vesely, Pre-Game Warm-up Action

{video via Adam McGinnis}


Lukas Kuba