Juan Pablo Vaulet, the 6'6" Argentine teenager the Nets traded for on Draft Night, has been diagnosed with a stress fracture of the tibia in his right leg, according to media reports in his native country. NetsDaily has confirmed the reports.
According to Argentine media, Vaulet was diagnosed by the Nets medical staff in the U.S. on Saturday. Vaulet will meet with Dr.. Martin O'Malley, the Nets foot and ankle specialist, on Monday to determine a course of treatment. Vaulet, who accompanied the summer league team for the past several days, will remain in the U.S. Argentine media said that recovery is expected to take six weeks and will begin in the U.S., presumably in New York.
Vaulet apparently injured himself initially in the Argentine National League playoffs in June, but played through the injury in the playoffs then in the first two games of the FIBA U19 World Championships in Greece the first week in July. He played well in those games then pulled himself out of Game 3 with ankle soreness. According to Ole, the big Argentine sports site, Vaulet was diagnosed with a bone bruise to his right ankle. That news was somewhat troubling because Vaulet had missed nearly a year and a half due to an ankle injury he suffered when he was 17.
Subsequently, Argentine media reported he also had strained ligaments in his right knee and recommended treatment and rest. It's uncertain how much of his problems are related to the stress fracture.
Vaulet traveled to Orlando to meet Nets officials last week, arriving in a walking boot. He traveled with the team to Las Vegas on Friday and on Saturday was seen putting up shots at a practice in Nets workout gear. Before he was hurt, he had been expected to play in Las Vegas.
The Nets tweeted out a picture of him working out on Sunday.
The Nets traded for Vaulet on Draft Night, sending a reported $880,000 and two second rounders in 2018 and 2019 to the Hornets, who had taken him at No. 39. Barely 19, Vaulet is regarded as the best Argentine prospect since the country's so-called Golden Generation, led by Manu Ginobili, emerged as a challenger to US supremacy a decade and a half ago. Vaulet plays for Bahia Blanca, a team that's owned by former NBA player Pepe Sanchez and coached by Sebastian Ginobili, Manu's brother.
Three days ago, Sanchez praised the Nets for coming to Argentina to scout Vaulet and said he sees no reason why the swingman won't play for Brooklyn in the future.