Now or never for Vesely to turn things around

Now or never for Vesely to turn things around
July 12, 2013, 2:00 pm
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GM Ernie Grunfeld talks Wizards free agency moves

The Wizards don’t have much time to wait for Jan Vesely, a 6-11 lottery pick entering this third season who has contributed little.

It all starts with the NBA summer league in Las Vegas, with the Wizards opening play Saturday vs. the Golden State Warriors (CSN, 4 p.m. ET; replay, 7).

Vesely averaged 2.5 points and 2.4 rebounds last season when the Wizards won just 29 games. He has yet to showcase any sort of versatility outside the paint even though he was referred to as a swingman when the Wizards drafted him sixth overall in 2011.

With there being nine players on the roster who can play as a forward, such as Nene, Kevin Seraphin, Trevor Ariza, Trevor Booker, Chris Singleton and rookies Otto Porter and Glen Rice, Vesely has a lot of ground to make up.

Going into the off-season, coach Randy Wittman said Vesely needed his most work between his ears to improve his play on the court. His basketball IQ and confidence aren't there yet. 

“I just have to work, keep playing and work hard,” said Vesely during mini-camp leading into summer league. He only appeared in 51 games and averaged 12 minutes per outing. "It's something I have to keep telling myself to be aggressive."

Vesely’s inability to get better hampered the Wizards especially because they need more size in the low post. There’s a spot there for him in the rotation if he ever can take that next step. 

He will get extra work with the Czech national team after the summer league, too. And hopefully for Vesely, he doesn't have a repeat of last year's summer league when he fouled out of a game. That's virtually unheard of because games are called loosely and players are allowed 10 fouls each.  

The Wizards will have the option to pick up his fourth season for 2014-15, but that's not a given at this point.  There's nothing certain about Vesely's future in Washington.

"I want to do the best I can do and then we'll see," he said.