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Nets “stash” Juan Pablo Vaulet undergoes ankle surgery

Juan Vaulet

With the selection of Aleksandar Vezenkov of Bulgaria and F.C. Barcelona, the Nets have two 21-year-old “stashes”: players taken in the Draft who will play overseas until ready for the NBA ... or until the team decides they’re not going to make it.

Vezenkov, a 6’9” small forward, has his posiitives and negatives. He’s an elite shooter, as Sean Marks said on Draft Night, but the rest of his game needs a lot of work. At least he’s healthy.

That’s not the case with Juan Pablo Vaulet, the 6’7” Argentine swingman the Nets took in the 2015 NBA Draft. His team, Bahia Blanca, announced Wednesday that he underwent “endoscopic” surgery, aka he got “scoped”, this week in on his troublesome right ankle. The surgery took place in Argentina.

For Vaulet, who cost the Nets two second rounders and $880,000, it’s his second ankle surgery since he was drafted. This one is minor compared to the previous surgery.

Two weeks after the 2015 draft, he played three games in the U19 world championships in early July before having to sit with a sore right ankle. It turned out to be a stress fracture. The Nets orthopedic surgeon, Martin O'Malley, repaired the fracture in July. He missed four months. (Two years earlier, he had had surgery on his left ankle that cost him 17 months.)

The Nets brought him up to Brooklyn in January of this year for training and medical tests. He even flew on the team plane. But shortly after he returned to Argentina, he began to experience inflammation and swelling in his right ankle and didn’t play after early March.

Vaulet will be ready for training camp, according to Bahia. He will miss any chance he had at making the Argentine national team which will play in the FIBA Americas Tournament, which will take place in his hometown of Cordoba. His Nets future remains unclear.