Mid or late second-round pick.
Background and Notable Stats
Good kid. Vit Krejci is the son of Vit Krejci, who played basketball for Strakonice in the local league of Czech for almost 10 years. Actually, his surname is not Krejci, Krescova.
His older sister Jolana Krejcova started playing basketball when she was six years old. In 2014, she played for the Czech National Team in the FIBA U18 Womens Championship. But she chose her education life with the guidance of his mother. She is a nurse.
6’8’’ and 198 lbs forward started playing basketball thanks to Jolana. He was going to Jolana's training. His father, who was a trainer, decided to train him in this court when he saw VK's interest in basketball.
He received an offer from Zaragoza in 2014. Krejci went to Spain with his mother because he was 14. They remained in a campus where tourists stayed. Simon Pursl (his citizen and basketball player) was the one who helped Krejci the most.
With Kristyna Navratilova (in the Czech women's team), he joined the 2017 Israel Basketball Without Borders camp. Krejci worked with GSW assistant coach Ron Adams, David Robinson, Pacers assistant coach Dan Burke and Chanler Parsons in that camp. He also met Masai Ujiri and RC Buford.
Krejci's English is almost perfect. His Spanish is in the first stage. He loves spinach, taco, chicken and dessert. Allen Iverson is his first ıdol.
He made debut at ACB in 2016-2017. Czech player did not play in ACB in 2017-2018.
Last season, he played in just two matches. He played in 36 games, including BCL, in 2019-2020. He played for Olivar Zaragoza in Liga EBA when he was not playing Zaragoza first team.
He was on the roster of the qualifying matches of the Czech National Team in 2017 and 2020. He played in Czech youth teams in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Last summer, VK averaged 14,9 points, 5,1 assists (career best), 1,6 steals, 5,1 rebounds while shooting 35% (1,0/2,9) from 3PT and 60% (6/10) from the court.
I love the mental war of this kid. Despite his cons on defense, he is always challenging. Krejci's motor is always active. Talented point forward continues to fight. But sometimes he loses concentration when he plays the off-ball role on offense, looking around (arena).
I think it is both good and bad.
He left his country at the age of 14 and started playing basketball in another country. He made many road trips. He saw different cultures. He played in one of the biggest leagues in Europe. He worked with many different styles of players (Gary Neal went to GYM every morning from 8 to 9 with Krejci) and coaches. He also experienced higher levels at FIBA level and Krejci is just 20 years old. Shortly, he also learned a lot of things about off-court. Like detailed analysis, roster planning, European experience etc.
However, this was the season in which he played the most games in Zaragoza's first team. VK played in the Liga EBA (like the low-level NCAA divisions) in previous years. Therefore, there is not much material to evaluate for high levels. But the 36 games he played this season and the things he showed in FIBA tournaments (under + National Team) giving me a hint.
(Unfortunately, I did not watch him at the arena.)
I think he has been physically improved over the past two years. Has grown like 10cm in less than two years Until the middle of the 2018-2019 season, Krejci needed a lot of work in terms of both width and power.
However, I think, last season he made a good improvement, especially on his upper body. Good width on shoulders. I think VK's chest, arm and core muscles are not ideal.
Core muscles have become stronger over time this year, thus improving him vertical pop, but his upper body is particularly problematic on defense. For example, ISO defense.
On lower body, Krejci's hip mobility is dazzling. I think he has excellent hip mobility on many movements like reverse, spin, eurostep, crossover. 6'9'' is a good length and his lower body is ok in terms of mobility. However, he needs a lot of work for all his body.
In my opinion, he should add some weight with muscles. It is not bad, like Igor Drobnjak or Arturs Zagars from the 2000 class in Europe, but generally, he is average.
Krejci reminds me of Brandon Ingram collage years in terms of physically. I think he is great athlete for his age. Krejci is quick on his feet, covers ground well laterally and has nice hip turns. Also, he is good vertical athlete. He can dunk on open court attacks. Sometimes, he can dunk in traffic. I have a few doubts about his athletics for the NBA level.
Czech player can dunk open court attacks and sometimes set games, but his dunk timing (first step and change direction) is bad.
Krejci may not be able to do much in terms of explosiveness against the NBA rim protectors. In my opinion, if he develops physically, his fluency and excellent reverses will be efficient. My other doubt his about athleticism is about his defense.
Krejci is a player who sometimes has a foul problem because he cannot use his athletics balanced on fast game. Also, he is not a rim protector. However, he can use his quick hands with good hip mobility on switch defense. So, he can guard PG, SG and SF positions.
I think, 6'8'' point forward is an all-around shooter. His shooting percentages down last two years. But it does not mean Krejci is a bad shooter. The talented player is quick to set feet and let his shot fly even against pressure. I think, his shooting mechanics are solid. His timing, handling and footwork are good. He does not get rattled by defenders closing out on him.
Krejci can shoot on CnS or movement player roles. However, his arc is not ideal. Also, his shooting mechanics are inconsistent. Some matches, Krejci can give the ball an excellent arc with his left hand. However, some matches, his shooting mechanics lost its solidity and becomes fluent.
And Krejci's handling is not suitable for smooth shooting mechanics. For example, he is very bad at free throw line. During free throws, handling loses solidness and ball arc is down.
Krejci likes to play by getting in touch, so I think he definitely has to improve himself a lot about FT. Krejci excels on the open court. I think, point forward is a good finisher around the rim thanks to his length and vertical burst. Krejci has shown soft touch and body control around the rim.
He can finish with soft touch and does a pretty good job getting the ball up quickly. Krejci shows touch and can finish through contact but I think, for NBA levels, lack of top-end athleticism and physical tools will limit him. I think, he is a bad passer. he does not have creative passing skills. He passes in PnRs with good timing and can throw classic passes in a set order. But that is it. He needs to improve about it. I like him floaters and baseline attacks.
He can finish in traffic thanks to his game reading ability and hip mobility. His first step is strong. So, he can change direction in the paint easily. I am fan of his high dribble. Krejci does not have a perfect court vision and ability to pass, so he is not a lot of creativity on offense yet. He can attack well from the wings and top, I trust his shot, he uses the opposite direction of screen during PnR, and he is a good scorer on the move. But he needs three things to use all these skills at the NBA: Consistent shooting (because probably his first roles will be off-ball player) reliable handling (so that he can become one of the main ISO players in the team) and physically development.
I think Krejci gives hope with his pure talent and determination to score without hesitation. Finally, I think Krejci can be perfect as a PG on the offense. Although his handling is average, Krejci is very comfortable with the ball. With his 6'8 '' height, he can play the ball comfortably and this is making him an effective offensive player against PGs.
He is a smart team defender. His head is always on a rotary and appears to do great things communicating on defense, as well. He is good defensive playmaker generally. He’s a smart positional defender, and uses his length well, but he is not a good rim protector. I'm also not fan of his ISO defense. He is prone to standing without hands out, instead of staying in his stance. All I can say well here is, when recovering downhill, Krejci is prone to crossing his feet and running downhill, making him susceptible to pullup jumpers as VK is trying to recover his body balance. He doesn’t enough steals or blocks.
I think one of the most important things about his future in the NBA is the PnR defense because Krejci (6'8'') is a smart and energetic player so, on the paper, he can defend switch, but sometimes uses his energy badly on defense. For example, he does unnecessary help defense during the opponent's PnR. It might be better if he stays in the PnR zone. Because Krejci's hands are fast, although his thin frame his height is suitable for switches, also Krejci's body balance is very good. In other words, Krejci can be perfect for the definition of "three & d", which the NBA sought in the pace & space era.
Of course, his shooting and frame are big question mark, but I think, Krejci has the potential to do these. He has quick hands. I like his awareness He does a nice job sliding, flipping hips, and remaining in a slide. He can be too undisciplined defensively. I think his clouseouts defense is average. He uses length well but overall needs work closing out.
Krejci is inconsisten off-ball defender. There are times when he does a nice job tracking his man through screens, but then there are other ones where he simply loses him because of his focus problems. He is not someone who can fight through screens. I love his effort for the rebounds. The rebound averages are not very high, but it is promising that his effort and the ability to start a transition after taking rebounds.
My major questions
Can he shoot consistently?
How soon will he develop physically?
Can he use his energy correctly on defense?
6’8’’ Czech point forward Vit Krejci is an athletic, energetic and talented prospect. I think he may have a future in the NBA. I think that the minutes he took in Zaragoza this season shows what he can do when he is given responsibility. Krejci, who is disciplined in his private life and has no problems (The only problem I hear about his private life is that he got depressed for three months after leaving his girlfriend in 2017, but there's nothing like using medication, just a mild depression), is passionate about working. He gets along well with other prospects like Carlos Alocen, Sergi Garcia and Gustav Knudsen. Also, I think the culture Zaragoza has had over the past few years has taken Vit to the next level. And my last word, I think Krejci is better NBA prospect than Alocen. Because I think he is really a talented prospect. He can play PG with 6'8'' size. What he needs is that he plays more.