Vesely is having a fairly good season with Partizan Belgrade, the dominant Serbian club he joined three years ago, with averages of 10.1 ppg and 3.6 rpg in Euroleague play. But the Czech probably didn’t step up as expected for a team that lost a couple of key players in guard Bo McCalebb and center Aleks Maric last summer.
“He had a chance to be a leading player for Partizan this year and he wasn’t,” Loncar said. “The team wasn’t as strong as last year and the American players took the leading role and he couldn’t put himself above them in the pecking order.”
While his inability to lead a squad that didn’t even make it to the quarter finals of the Euroleague could raise questions about his assertiveness, there are no red flags about Vesely’s character or commitment to the game.
“From what I hear, he’s a very cheerful kid,” Loncar said. “Always with a smile in his face. The people in Belgrade love him. He learned Serbian pretty fast, although it’s not that hard when you’re Czech. He’s a true professional, very dedicated to basketball and a hard worker. He’s never been involved in any scandal during his time in Belgrade, as opposed to other players that have gotten into fights. Belgrade is a dangerous city, but he’s been a model off the court.”
Unlike other European players that send mixed messages on their interest in the NBA (for example Nikola Mirotic, who entered his name in the draft but also re-signed with Real Madrid till 2016), Vesely is steadfast about his desire to play in the United States as soon as next season.
“I removed my name from the draft last year, but this year I really want to play there,” Vesely said. “I want to go to the NBA this year and that’s it.”
According to his agent, Aleksandar Raskovic, Vesely will not take part in workouts with NBA teams. Raskovic said his client will be in New York on June 17, though, to go through physical tests akin to the ones draft prospects had at the Chicago combine earlier this month.
Vesely deflects all questions about what he would do in the event of a lockout to his representation, but there’s little question he would land a big contract with a top European club if it came down to it.
Joan Creus, the highly regarded general manager of 2010 Euroleague champion FC Barcelona, thinks Vesely is “up there with the best small forwards in the continent right now.”
“Any big club in Europe would be interested in him,” Creus said. “If there’s a top team in Europe that says it’s not interested in him… Well, they don’t know basketball.”
Creus also believes Vesely could use another year or two in Europe to further develop his game and basketball IQ.
That would be Plan B in any case. If everything goes according to the script, Vesely will become the third Czech player on an NBA roster next season. Too bad not many people in his country will care about it.