Tomas Satoransky participated in the NBA summer league in Las Vegas to show his gratitude to the Wizards for selecting him 32nd overall. But he also hoped to convince them to let him join the team a little earlier than expected.
Satoransky has some talent and considerable athleticism, but the Wizards still intend to stick to their plan of stashing the second-round pick in Europe next season, according to a league source with knowledge of the team’s thinking.
Satoransky would have needed a spectacular performance to change the original plan. In five summer league games, the 6-foot-7 Satoransky didn’t overwhelm anyone. He averaged just 4.4 points and 1.8 assists and shot just 37.5 percent (6 of 16) from the floor while backing up Shelvin Mack.
Satoransky, a 20-year-old native of the Czech Republic, has played backup point guard the last three seasons with Cajasol Sevilla of the top-level Spanish league ACB. He averaged 4.9 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. He remains under contract with Cajasol Sevilla but has options for his final two years.
“I was drafted really high for me, for my expectation. I came here to show them and give them something back and also to get experience for my next seasons, whether or not it’s going to be in the NBA or Spain,” Satoransky said last week in Las Vegas. “Right now, I count more on to stay in Europe. That’s what they say after the draft. So I will just wait after the summer league and we will see..”
Satoransky was at times careless with the ball and tried to force some passes in Las Vegas, and he never seemed to ready to assert himself offensively. He had more turnovers (11) than assists (nine). He had his best performance in a win over Houston, when he scored 11 points on 4 of 9 shooting and provided two incredible highlight dunks. On one, he broke down the defense from above the three-point line, then drove inside, cocked the ball behind his head and slammed the ball as rookie Jeremy Lamb contested.
Regular season competition is much tougher than the action in summer league games, but Satoransky felt tasting NBA competition in any form would be beneficial. “It’s more about one-on-one and the game is really fast. Up and down. In Europe, you have more 24-second offense,” Satoransky said.
Satoransky added that he would like to play for the Wizards “as soon as possible. ” He believes that playing professionally in Spain for the past three years will help him adjust to the league. “There is a lot of players who are ex-players in the NBA. Good experience there and the league is very good--second best league in Europe. My experience is going to help me for sure, because I played really hard games against Barcelona, Euro League teams.”
Satoransky already has left an impression on his summer league teammates with his ability to get off the ground. “The first day, he did a windmill. He wasn’t even warmed up and I was like, ‘Wow, he can really jump,’” first round pick Bradley Beal said. “He’s athletic. He can really help us out a lot. He’s smart at the same time. He has a few flaws here and there, but there’s things he’s doing great out there. He’s a great point guard. He’s going to be terrific for us.”