This date has been marked on the calendar of Jan Vesely, though it wasn't until a season-ending right knee injury to J.J. Hickson that he will get a bump the rotation of Denver Nuggets coach Brian Shaw.
Vesely, the No. 6 overall pick in 2011 for the Wizards, was traded Feb. 20 in a three-team deal and landed in Denver. He will play his former team for the first time at Pepsi Center on Sunday (CSN, 5 p.m. ET).
“It'll be a special game,” Vesely said after practice Saturday, before having dinner with former teammates Kevin Seraphin, Chris Singleton and Marcin Gortat. “I was there for 2½ years. I know all the guys on the team. It will be a fun game to play. I’ll do my best to help the team win a game.”
Vesely, who has averaged 2.8 points and 2.7 rebounds in 10.4 minutes in 10 games in Denver, doesn't have a contract for next season. The Wizards had declined to pick up his fourth-year option before the season.
Shaw needs to see what he can do as the Nuggets figure out if Vesely is worth retaining.
“Everybody likes to play and be on the court,” said Vesely, who hasn't gotten off Shaw's bench in six games. “It’s hard to adjust to a new team. I didn’t get much playing time in Washington, so it’s a little harder to be a coach and give me a chance and believe in me. I’m just trying to work hard and wait for my chance.”
Said Shaw: “He plays within his limitations, which I like. He hasn’t had that much of a chance to get out on the floor, but with J.J. being out, we should be able to get a good look at him.”