Wizards first-round draft pick Jan Vesely will wait until the end of August to decide where he intends to play basketball this fall, according to his agent, Alexander Raskovic.
Vesely, the sixth overall pick last June, delayed coming to the league for one year, so that he could learn more from Partizan Belgrade Coach Dusan Vujosevic and have an expanded role with his team. After averaging 10.4 points and 4.3 rebounds in Adriatic league play and 9.2 points and 3.4 rebounds in Euroleague play last season, Vesely felt it was time to move on.
But a week after the Wizards chose the energetic 6-foot-10 forward from the Czech Republic, the league locked out its players and led to speculation about whether Vesely would return to Partizan, where he played the past three seasons, or sign elsewhere in Europe.
Wizards forward Trevor Booker has already signed a contract to play in Israel that has a clause that will allow him to come back to the NBA at the conclusion of the lockout. Kevin Seraphin will also likely return to France in the fall if the lockout continues. His agent, Bouna Ndiaye, has had negotiations with Seraphin’s former team, Cholet, and Asvel, a team partially-owned by his teammate on the French national team, Tony Parker. Vesely is currently at home with his family.
“We are looking for the developing of the lock out situation, and by the end of the August we will make decision where he will play in Europe, or no,” Raskovic wrote in an email on Monday. “Jan may wait for the end of lockout with no playing in any of the team]s] in Europe.”
Vesely said on the night of the draft that he hoped to make basketball more popular in the Czech Republic, which has produced two other NBA players in Jiri Welsch and George Zidek. But Vesely elected not to play for his national team as it played a series of exhibitions this summer. The Czech Republic did not qualify for the European championships, which will be held in Lithuania from Aug. 31 to Sept. 18.
“He did not play for the national team by his mutual agreement with the national team’s coach,” Raskovic wrote. “There was no important games so they did not need him to be in the national team.”