Jan Vesely will remain in the Czech Republic for another week, possibly until at least the day before Wizards training camp is set to begin, while he waits for the NBA lockout to get lifted in order to acquire a work visa.
Owners and players may have reached a tentative settlement on their antitrust lawsuit that will allow training camps to begin on Dec. 9. But Alexander Raskovic, one of Vesely’s representatives, wrote in an e-mail on Tuesday that his client needs several documents — including a copy of the new agreement and his contract with the Wizards — before the United States Embassy in Prague will grant him permission to work in America.
In other words, Vesely needs an actual employer to work in the country and right now he doesn’t have one. The issue is a clerical formality that will easily get resolved once the NBA is officially back in business.
Vesely, the sixth pick of the June draft, spent six weeks in Los Angeles, where he worked with trainer Rob McClanaghan and several other NBA players, such as Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Wizards center JaVale McGee. He returned home to the Czech Republic nearly two weeks ago after growing “bored” and frustrated with the lockout and contemplated going back to his team the past three seasons, Partizan Belgrade.
Vesely has already negotiated a tentative buyout agreement with Partizan. The Wizards can contribute up to $500,000 toward a buyout of an international contract, but that check can’t be written until the lockout ends. Vesely should be eligible to sign a two-year deal worth almost $5.5 million, with the Wizards holding the options for his third and fourth years.
Raskovic said Vesely could get a visitor visa – which would allow him to come to Washington sooner – but he would eventually have to return to the Czech Republic for a work visa. Vesely doesn’t want to risk missing any games or practice time away from the team.
“It is better to wait,” Raskovic wrote. “This is the only way.”