Jan Vesely entered the NBA with a kiss.
He’s now kissing the league goodbye.
Spending so little time in the NBA after being drafted so high is rare. Unless Vesely – whose athleticism could never overcome his lack of skills – makes an unlikely NBA comeback, he’s on track to become just the seventh player drafted in the top six to spend three or fewer seasons in the NBA since the NBA-ABA merger.
The other six:
Flynn regressed in two seasons with the Timberwolves, who drafted him No. 6 in 2009, and then a third year in Houston and Portland. He might have left the NBA after three seasons regardless, but a hip injury did him no favors.
Williams, the No. 2 pick in the 2002 draft, had a decent rookie year. But a motorcycle crash before his second season ended his career – and nearly his life.
Drafted No. 3 by the Warriors in 1986, Washburn stunk for a season and a half in Golden State and a half season in Atlanta. Then, he was suspended for drugs, costing him his third season. A third failed drug test ultimately got him banned from the NBA for good.
Cross, drafted No. 6 in 1983 by the Warriors, astoundingly lasted only one season in the NBA. According to the Chicago Tribune, he had a chronic knee problem dating back at least to his time in Purdue.
The player drafted highest every out of Jacksonville University, Ray – chosen No. 5 in 1980 – lasted just three years with the Nuggets.
Assuming there are no later revelations to the contrary, Ray was the last top-six pick to exit the NBA as quickly as Vesely without injury or drugs playing a major factor. Just as the Wizards imagined in 2011, Vesely ultimately made history.