Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld will be among the team talent evaluators in Chicago on Friday to have an individual workout with Turkish big man Enes Kanter, but Kanter isn’t the only European player who will have the attention of the Wizards this weekend. According to a league source, the Wizards will be in New Jersey on Sunday to watch athletic forward Jan Vesely of the Czech Republic.
The 6-foot-11 Vesely wasn’t expected to work out for NBA teams in advance of the draft, and the Wizards were among a handful of teams in attendance when he scored 18 points to lead Partizan Belgrade to the Serbian title last week. Toronto, Utah, Cleveland and possibly Detroit are expected to witness Vesely’s lone workout for NBA teams.
The Wizards have been high on Vesely for some time and some scouts believe that he would be the perfect fit for a team that likes to run and push the tempo (or rather a team with John Wall playing point guard). Vesely averaged 10.4 poinits and 4.3 rebounds in the Adriatic league and 9.2 points and 3.4 rebounds in Euroleague play last season.
Vesely, 21, is considered by many scouts to be the more NBA ready than Kanter and Lithuanian center Jonas Valanciunas -- especially since he has received a lot of playing time in Euroleague the past two seasons. Vesely is more of a small forward than the other two players, but he is expected to go anywhere from third to 10th. He beat out the likes of Ricky Rubio and Valanciunas for FIBA Europe young men’s player of the year in 2010.
The workout with Kanter on Friday either signals the Wizards’ desire to move up in the NBA draft -- since Kanter isn’t expected to go earlier than sixth -- or that there is a chance he could slide. Either way, the team will do its due diligence with a player who has already expressed a desire to play in Washington with Wall.