PORTLAND, Ore. — Part of the Washington Wizards’ roster overhaul this summer — they have 10 players on the final year of their contracts — figured to include Tomas Satoransky.
The 6-foot-7 guard from Czech Republic has been playing professionally in Spain since 2009 and stayed there when the Wizards selected him with the 32nd pick of the 2012 draft. He signed a two-year contract with FC Barcelona, one of the world’s top teams outside the NBA, in 2014, and the Wizards were hopeful he would be available to them this summer. But the situation got a bit more complicated Monday when Satoransky, 24, signed a four-year contract extension with Barcelona through the 2020 season.
“I wanted to stay here,” Satoransky told Spanish media. “When you have the opportunity to get to a club like this, you take it, and when you have the opportunity to continue, you also take it.”
The development does not preclude the possibility of Satoransky joining the Wizards, who had an official visit Satoransky recently, over the next four years as long as a buyout is paid to Barcelona. The Wizards can still sign him this summer, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, with a buyout before the extension kicks in. A two-year contract plus a team option would be the likely deal. If Satoransky stays in Spain, his contract would then includes NBA out clauses in 2017, 2018, and 2019 that would make him eligible to leave for the states.
But buyouts are expensive for players of Satoransky’s caliber and NBA teams are restricted in how much money they can directly contribute towards them. This summer, it would be $625,000 and it hikes $25,000 each year. The player must pay the rest.
One thing in the Wizards’ favor is that they were never beholden to signing Satoransky to a rookie scale contract because he’s a second-round pick. Therefore, they can sign him to a bigger salary that could be used to pay the remainder of the buyout to Barcelona, though the deal must fit under the salary cap. Satoransky would pocket the remainder of the salary.
Satoransky projects as a backup guard behind John Wall and Bradley Beal, assuming the latter re-signs in Washington this summer, should he join the Wizards in the next few years. Lanky and athletic, Satoransky is averaging 8.6 points, 4.2 assists, and 2.7 rebounds in 23.2 minutes per game while shooting 50.6 percent from the field, 39.2 percent from three-point range, and 74.1 percent from the free-throw line.