“It was a big moment for me and my family,” Vesely said, explaining how he couldn’t contain his emotions while going in for the lip lock with a girl he has known since elementary school. “I’m looking forward to being in the NBA, to play for the Wizards. I’m real excited.”
There was a lot of uncertainty for the Wizards heading into the draft, but the team came away with one of the players that it had coveted for some time in Vesely, a 6-foot-11 freakish athlete who can run the floor, likes to dunk and will likely make the team a highlight staple with John Wall and center JaVale McGee.
After getting a lover, the Wizards then were lucky to get a fighter in Florida State forward Chris Singleton, a defensive-minded player who they pondered taking at the sixth spot but somehow managed to be around when they selected 18th. They then found a backup point guard for Wall with the 34th pick in Shelvin Mack, who made back-to-back trips to the NCAA title game with Butler.
But while Vesely celebrated his selection with a kiss, the Wizards’ second selection, Singleton, said he was going to celebrate by cussing at the teams that passed on him. One of the 15 players invited to sit in the green room with family and friends, Singleton was projected to possibly go as high as ninth to Charlotte, but was the last player waiting when the Wizards called his name. “I’m going to mark off the teams, cuss them out, in my own words and take it from there,” he said. “You never want to be the last one in anything. But I feel like I’m in the right position right now. I’m happy.”
He said he plans to add an extra dimension to a Wizards team that has been deficient on the defensive end for several years. “I feel like I’m going to fit in right off the bat. We have an up-and-coming team and we are going to try to push to the playoffs.”
The Wizards wanted to add some size with its first draft choice and selected the most NBA-ready prospect among a trio of European big men who were chosen in the top five. He has received a lot of playing time with his team, Partizan Belgrade. He averaged 10.4 points and 4.3 rebounds in the Adriatic league and 9.2 points and 3.4 rebounds in Euroleague play last season.
Members of the Wizards’ basketball operations staff were in attendance when Vesely helped his team win the Serbian title and he held a workout on Sunday for three teams: Washington, Sacramento and Toronto. The draft played out well for the Wizards, who had hoped Vesely would fall to them.