After helping lead Fenerbahçe to its first Euroleague title ever, one might have assumed that Jan Vesely cleared a path for himself back to the NBA.
Ekpe Udoh, another former NBA first-round pick, earned Euroleague Final Four MVP honors. Udoh, 30, was the Euroñeague regular-season leader in rebounds and parlayed this into a multi-year contract with the Utah Jazz.
Meanwhile, younger teammate Bogan Bogdanovic signed a lucrative three-year contract with the Sacramento Kings worth $27 million. Bogdanovic, 24, was recently described as the best shooter in Europe.
But the same can not yet be said of Vesely, who was selected before Klay Thompson and Kawhi Leonard in the 2011 NBA draft.
Jan Vesely is in the agenda of several NBA clubs, however he seems intent on postponing a potential return to the best league in the planet for at least one more year.
Some of the American teams interested in Vesely included the Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers and Dallas Mavericks. The Nets and Mavericks were also linked to Vesely in 2016.
But one estimate projects he is among the top 10 highest-paid players in Europe earning an average of $2.56 million per season. Could Vesely have made a similar figure in the United States?
With three years of NBA experience, his minimum salary would be $1.52 million. However, he reportedly sought a much higher figure from potential NBA suitors. One team was rumored to be interested in paying him between $8.2 and $9.3 million, though this was not confirmed.
During his time in Europe, he has adapted his game to become more of a big man than a small forward. While his play has impressed, it’s still unclear what kind of role he would play on an NBA team.
Of course, a return to Fenerbahçe would be without two of the team’s biggest stars from last season. However, they are still built to succeed.
The Fenerbahce roster last season included the 2013 NBA No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett. James Nunnally, who threw Vesely the assist in the video above, will also return to the defending Euroleague champions next year.