UcanUwill wrote:I liked Vesely, and I think Wizards made a mistake by turning him into bigman. One skill he had was perimeter defense, he was lockdown perimeter defender and yeah he had no offensive skill, but his shot was in development. If you drafted him, kept him lean, made him work on a corner 3, he could have been a more athletic Shane Battier IMO. But they instantly put him at center, and he wasnt ready nor good at it. Guys like Jankunas were killing him in the post, of course he will suck as bigman in the NBA. They completely abandoned idea of him ever becoming a passable shooter and just made him put up weight. Now he plays center, never shoots anymore, and hes just not the same player he was in Partizan.
ANd contra argument, is that years later league became super small ball, and Vesely never was destined to be SF, but he could be PF in a sense Gallinari or Robert Covington are PFs. His one skill was perimeter defense and WIzards never tried to build on it.
The Wizards were not wrong to use him as a center. He just wasn't physically ready for that yet. A few years after that time, he had filled out and gotten a lot stronger (gained probably 30 pounds in his upper body), and ever since then he exclusively plays as a center.
The only reason Partizan used him as a small forward was because he was like 210 pounds (95 kilos) at that time. His perimeter defense was always overrated. He could do a good job of crowding guys with his size and length, as long as he knew the lane was closed behind him, due to true zone being allowed in Europe. But without that, he wouldn't have been able to consistently handle switches against good offensive small guards.
It's different than just having to crowd a 6-6 to 6-8 (1.97 to 2.02) small forward, and not having to worry about if they beat you off the dribble. It's also very different than playing in the NBA, where there is no physical contact allowed on the perimeter and if your man beats you off the dribble, there is no help defense behind you, which results in an easy open layup or dunk.
With that being said, it's the NBA we are talking about, where defense is entirely outlawed by the rules and the reffing. So it wouldn't make any difference if they used Vesely as a small forward, because no one is allowed to play defense in the NBA anyway. And in the NBA, if they would have just used Vesely as a dive man to the basket off pick and roll, then he would have been dunking all the time. It wasn't playing him as a center that was the problem. It was that they didn't understand he had no offensive skills and was a once in a generation level athlete. Instead, they clearly saw him as a "Euro stiff", that has "skills and could shoot the three as a spread big / face up big".
In retrospect, it just shows how ridiculous the NBA can still be in how they look at and handle European players, even in recent years.