Friday, June 17, 2011

Jan Vesely - 2011 International Draft Prospect Scouting Report

Jan Vesely
6-11 SF
Partizan Belgrade
21 Years Old


More international prospect scouting reports:
Jonas Valanciunas | Bismack Biyombo | Donatas Motiejunas | Nikola Mirotic

Czech Republic's Jan Vesely has proven himself at the highest level of Euro ball for a few years and was a key cog in Partizan's run to the Euroleague Final Four in 2010. (M. Haubs wrote about his breakout performance at the Final Four last year.) Vesely is a potent combo of size and athleticism, who's a Top 10 talent in this draft.

Jan's a natural SF who has the capabilities to swing over to the 4-spot when needed. Fierce finisher in half-court situations. Rises high for emphatic dunks. Can be effective in either a half-court system or uptempo scheme. And Jan has the seasoning and skills to start right away in the NBA.

In 15 Euroleague games this season, Jan averaged 10 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1 bpg, 1.3 spg, 1.6 TOpg & 53.6% shooting in 27 mins/game. His numbers in 26 Adriatic league games were very similar. Vesely was named the Serbian League Player of the Year and recently helped Partizan to a Serbian League title.

With the third pick, Utah needs to think long and hard about scooping up Vesely. Could be the perfect fit at the SF spot to replace Kirilenko (especially if Ty Corbin continues to run some of the flex). Does compare somewhat to Kirilenko: AK47 is the better passer and shot-blocker, but Vesely has the better post game.

Most impressive (and underrated) part of his game might be his post-up ability (better in the post than Valanciunas). Advanced post game with drop-steps, running hooks and turnaround jumpers over both shoulders. Very comfortable turning over his right shoulder on the right block to hit jumpers. Excellent footwork and smart at using re-posts. He also passes out of the post well.

Partizan would often cross-screen Vesely into post-ups, similar to flex cuts/screens so prevalent in the Utah scheme. Vesely's adept at pinning or sealing his defender for quick post-ups. His length should give difficulties to nearly every SF trying to guard him on the block not named Durant or Rudy Gay.

Another aspect of his game Utah should like: affinity for working the baseline. Very effective finisher cutting or driving the baseline. Could be dangerous on the weakside cuts prevalent in the Utah system.

The thing holding Vesely back from being the clear-cut third pick (and possible star in the league) is his dodgy shooting touch. Jan did shoot 35.7% from 3pt. range in the Euroleague, but only managed 28% in the Adriatic. He was dreadful at the FT line: 44% in Euroleague, 54% in Adriatic. He had similar issues in the 19 games in the Serbian League, where he shot 33% on 3PA & 40% on FTA.

When watching Vesely shoot the ball, you wonder why more of his shots don't find the bottom of the net. You could easily see him improve his shooting numbers with just a little tweaking.

Nothing egregiously wrong with his shooting mechanics. But has wild variation in the end results of his shots--sometimes misses shots very badly (plenty of airballs & bricks). He does get his legs into his shots fairly well and his follow-thru is quality. He tends to float some on his shot, but nothing extreme.

Decent ball-handler for his size who can drive the ball going left or right. And he's not just a straight-line driver--he can change direction on the bounce (solid crossover move). Will force some shots up with defenders on him--propensity for some ill-advised runners. No real ability to hit pull-ups in the mid-range.

Like how he drives the ball hard and goes at the rim with purpose, but sometimes goes too quickly on his moves without surveying the floor. Needs to learn more patience, to triple-threat his defender before he puts the ball on the deck.

What makes Vesely arguably the best and most well-rounded international prospect is his ability at the defensive end. Vesely has proven himself to be a reliable defender in Europe and his talents should transfer over thanks to his great size and legit NBA athleticism.

According to Synergy Sports, Jan performed very well in iso possessions, where he held his opponents to 36.4% shooting and a third of the iso possessions end in a turnover. Shows good balance and footwork on the perimeter. Great agility for guy his size, keeps his feet underneath his hips well.

His post-up defense graded out just as well--held his opponents to 26.7% shooting. Though, Vesely will need to add a few lbs. to his frame to better guard post-ups in the NBA.

Like Valanciunas, has a little aggressive streak to his game that gets him in some foul trouble. Crashes the offensive glass very well and is a put-back artist.

Vesely has all the tools to be a quality starter in the NBA. If he can refine his shooting touch, won't be surprised if he has a career equal to Derrick Williams.

*--(Synergy Sports Technology provided data for this post)

More international prospect scouting reports:
Jonas Valanciunas | Bismack Biyombo | Donatas Motiejunas | Nikola Mirotic

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