Yes, you’re reading the timestamp of this post correctly. It is the year 2017, and there are reportedly multiple NBA teams interested in signing Jan Vesely. According to Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders, the Nets, 76ers, and Mavericks could all have interest in the former 6th overall pick from the 2011 NBA Draft.
While Vesely’s first three-year stint in the NBA did not go well, he’s been a force in Turkey over the past two seasons with Fenerbahce. The club went to the Euroleague championship game in 2016 and they broke through to win the title this season.
Has Vesely added new skills since we last saw him in the states? Not exactly. He still doesn’t have an outside shot and struggles at the free throw line, where he only shot 55.7 percent in Euroleague competition this season.
However, he’s gotten back to doing what he did well in Europe before the Wizards drafted him in 2011. He’s finishing effectively inside, rebounding well, and showing off his defensive versatility. There’s certainly a path to a respectable NBA career if he can do those things well on the NBA level.
For Jan’s sake, hopefully things work out if he makes a return. In a smaller, more manageable role without the lofty expectations he had in Washington, he could be useful as someone’s backup center. There are less hulking centers who can punish him in the post and there’s more of an emphasis on being able to switch out on perimeter players than ever before. You could argue there’s probably never been a better time for Jan Vesely to make an impact in the league.
If nothing else, it would be hard to do worse than he did in his first attempt at the NBA, so he’s really got nothing to lose giving it another shot.