The Washington Wizards have long been rumored to covet Czech forward Jan Vesely, but have had little reported about their feelings on Lithuanian center Jonas Valaciunas, who many believe will go higher in the 2011 NBA Draft. That has now changed. According to Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick, Valanciunas is ranked higher than Vesely on the Wizards' draft board for now.
Here's the disclaimer that doesn't get mentioned nearly enough: The executives themselves won't solidify their short-list opinions until the final week, if not days, before the draft. As a result, it's a toss-up whether the Wizards would opt for Vesely or Valanciunas. I'm opting for Valanciunas simply because I was told weeks ago that he was above Vesely on the Wizards' board. Sources say Washington is also very high on San Diego State small forward Kawhi Leonard.
Amick's caution is worth noting, especially considering how little has been reported about Valanciunas. There's a good chance Valanciunas is off the board by the time the Wizards pick anyway.