RICHMOND, Va. — The Washington Wizards have many new faces that are slated to be a part of the rotation this season. The one that will be a surprise to the majority outside of D.C. is Tomas Satoransky. We are only a few days into training camp, but Satoransky has wasted no time proving to his new teammates that he deserves to be here.
Satoransky was drafted by the Wizards back in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft. After playing Summer League, he decided to return back overseas to bide time so he could work on his development and body. The loyal D.C. fans kept close tabs on his production last season with FC Barcelona as he averaged nine points and 4.3 assists in 24.5 minutes per game. While those numbers wouldn’t indicate an elite prospect, his athleticism and intangibles are what truly makes him valuable for this team at this given time.
As expected, there were many questions on how the 6’7″ combo guard has fit in thus far.
Marcin Gortat had this to say: “I’ve been playing against him [Satoransky], back in Europe, many times. He’s a bright guy and I know everything about him. He played in Barcelona. He just got another offer, three or four years, from Barcelona and he decided to come here. This is huge. It’s obviously a great opportunity for him. He can always go back to Barcelona. If you have the opportunity to go to the NBA, you got to use this opportunity.”
The team had been getting together for the past few weeks leading up to Media Day to play pickup games at the practice facility. There, Santoransky showed all of the different positives he can bring.
“He definitely stood out to me. His demeanor and the way he plays,” Otto Porter said about his new teammate.
Fortunately for Satoransky, his size and athleticism will allow head coach Scott Brooks to play him anywhere from point guard to small forward.
Bradley Beal also spoke on what he has seen from Satoransky: “Tomas is a 6’7” point guard who can handle the ball, defend and is a freak athlete.”
Satoransky said every time there's a chance, John Wall is giving him advice. Says he'll be a huge help this season for him pic.twitter.com/KWUBmHRI8j
— Colby Giacubeno (@ColbyGiacubeno) September 26, 2016
Star point guard John Wall has taken Satoransky under his wing to make his transition to the NBA a smooth one. He already has the size that will force mismatches every time he steps on the floor as a point guard. If Wall can teach him how to see the entire floor at all times, it would make him an even more difficult matchup.
It’s uncertain whether or not Wall will be back by the season opener on Oct. 27, which means both Satoransky and Trey Burke would be logging the minutes at point guard. If he continues to impress throughout training camp and preseason, Satoransky starting in place of Wall shouldn’t be out of the question.
Following Wednesday’s practice, the one thing that players seemed to want him to improve is his toughness. The NBA has much more stronger players than the Euroleague, so adjusting to the physicality will be a process, but that’s something that can be improved with experience.
For now, Satoransky’s versatility could be a key weapon. Kelly Oubre Jr. told the Candace Buckner of the Washington Post about that versatility displayed early on throughout camp:
On Tuesday “he was dunking, high flying. I’m like, ‘Okay, he’s a dunker,’ ” Oubre said. “But today he had a little touch around the rim, and I didn’t know that he had that. I thought he was a straight athletic [player] who tries to dunk. But he has a lot of finishes around the rim. He can create, he’s very crafty. … I think since our legs are gone a little bit, he knows how to switch it up. Not a lot of people know how to do that.”
Satoransky’s progress will be something to monitor throughout the next few weeks. He could go from being one of the biggest unknowns to a quick option off the bench for the Wizards this season.