Detroit Pistons Draft Dreams: Jan Vesely


Jan Vesely is the only projected top 10 guy I haven’t profiled yet, so let’s look at his pluses and minuses, especially considering DraftExpress has the Pistons taking him in their latest mock.


Measurables: 6-foot-11, 240 pounds F from the Czech Republic

Key stats: 10.3 points, 4.4 rebounds per game while shooting 64 percent

Projected: Top 10

How would he help the Pistons?

One of the more intriguing comparisons for Vesely is to current Utah Jazz F Andrei Kirilenko. Vesely is long and athletic, just like AK, and if he brought the Pistons anywhere near the defense Kirilenko has been known for, that would be a huge win. Kirilenko, if you remember a few years back, was one of the most disruptive forces on defense when he was at his best.

Vesely also plays for the Serbian pro team Partizan, one of the top teams in Europe, so he has faced good competition as a pro. He’s only 21-years-old too, so there’s a chance he could bulk up.

How wouldn’t he help the Pistons?

Most scouts don’t view Vesely as a traditional, back-to-the basket, big. That’s not necessarily bad for Vesely, but I think most Pistons fans are desperately hoping they find a traditional, back-to-the-basket big in this draft. Enes Kanter, Bismack Biyombo and Jonas Valuncianas fit that bill more than Vesely does, so it’s possible any of those three would fill more of a need for the Pistons than Vesely would. Vesely does shoot a high percentage, but he has work to do on his range and his free throw shooting. His wing span and athleticism suggest he should be a decent shot blocker, even if his Euro numbers (0.7 per game) don’t jump out. Remember, most European players play as part of deep rotations and don’t get as many minutes, so often their averages are not as impressive as those of college players here who get big minutes.

What are others saying?

From DraftExpress:

"From a physical standpoint, Vesely remains the same extremely intriguing athletic specimen. He has terrific size and length for a small forward at 6-11 and couples that with incredible explosiveness. He looks a lot more confident in trying to utilize his athleticism as of late, as he’s been responsible for a number of unbelievable dunks this season. He’s gaining a reputation for being somewhat of a Blake Griffin-type spectacle at this level, doing things that people just aren’t accustomed to seeing in European basketball."

From ESPN:

"NBA scouts fell in love with the athletic Serbian last year before Vesely broke their hearts and decided to skip the draft and return to Serbia for another season. He may have made a mistake. Vesely was a lock for the lottery last June. Now?Scouts aren’t ready to write him off yet, but his 7 ppg and 2.7 rpg in Euroleague play aren’t exactly what they were hoping to see from him. Both numbers are drops from his production last season. His numbers in the Adriatic League are slightly better (11 ppg, 5.3 rpg), but a number of scouts have said they’re disappointed in the slow start."

From ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla:

"The comparisons to Kirilenko are logical because both are athletic European forwards who play with great energy but are under-skilled offensively. The team that drafts Vesely would certainly be satisfied with Kirilenko-type production over the course of his career.But if Vesely wants to swing for the fences, the best case scenario would be for him to emulate the career of Marion, a four-time NBA All-Star who has had an underrated 14 seasons in the league.That might be asking an awful lot of Vesely right now. But in a draft devoid of potential stars, finding a spot in an NBA team’s rotation would be a good first step."