Washington Wizards point guard Tomas Satoransky finally joined the team for the 2016-17 season. After being drafted in the second round of the 2012 draft, he spent four years playing abroad for CB Sevilla and FC Barcelona Lassa. With the Wizards still needing a consistent backup point guard, there is room for Satoransky to shine next season behind John Wall. So how’d he do in his first season in the NBA?
Basic Stats: 2.7 PPG (41.8 FG%, 24.3 3P%), 1.5 RPG, 1.6 APG, 12.6 MPG
Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be posting individual player reviews for the guys that ended the season in a Washington Wizards uniform. We started a few days ago with the youngest player on the team, Kelly Oubre Jr, and continued yesterday with the second oldest, Jason Smith. Today, we look at our favorite Czech point guard, Tomas Satoranksy.
Wizards fans had long been haunted by the name of Tomas Satoransky. For four years it seemed that the 2012 second round pick was destined to never play for the Wizards.
He was originally drafted one season after the Wizards took his Czech friend and Jan Vesely. Even with his national team partner, Sato wasn’t happy to have his draft rights owned by Washington, as they already had their point guard of the future, John Wall.
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Because of the extreme failure that was the Jan Vesely pick, Sato had more doubters than believers before he ever stepped foot in the NBA. Despite extremely strong seasons in the Euroleague, it just seemed that he wouldn’t live up to the hype.
Some fans are still caught up on the fact the Wizards drafted Satoransky 32nd overall, three picks before All-Star and NBA Champion Draymond Green.
So when Satoransky signed with the Wizards there was excitement and angst.
He was expected to compete with recently acquired point guard Trey Burke for backup duties, and occasionally play alongside Wall at shooting guard.
Tomas’ minutes were all over the place this season. With Wall on a minutes limit, and not playing in back-to-backs to start the season, Sato averaged over 19 minutes a game in 15 November games. He averaged 4.5 points in those games.
That would be the only month he played in all the games, and really the only month he saw consistent playing time until February, when he played in all but one game.
In December he played a total of 45 minutes, and recorded 2 points and 6 assists.
Despite playing almost 12 minutes per game in February, it became clear that he was not the answer at point guard for the Wizards, at least for this season.
Burke had already fallen out of favor with Brooks, and with Sato’s minutes fluctuating, that meant Wall had up and down minutes as well. In February, Wall averaged 39 minutes a game, 2 more minutes than any other month this season.
In the postseason, with the exception of the opening game, Sato was only able to see the court in blowouts. The team really needed bench help, but Scott Brooks did not see what he needed to trust Satoransky in those situations.
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Satoransky struggled on offense particularly in two facets. He was not fast enough to blow by his quicker, yet smaller defenders. Additionally, he was not strong enough or comfortable enough with his back to the basket to post up the smaller defenders.
I assume Sato will be working out abroad for most of the summer, but he should really try to work with Andre Miller, who’s perfected the old man hesitation, and post offense by a point guard.
He certainly showed promise on occasion, leading many fans to be comfortable with him as the main backup point guard heading into next season. It still seems likely the team drafts a point guard or signs one who goes undrafted.
I think with more time, he’ll become more comfortable in the NBA, and we’ll begin to see more of the player who led one of the best team’s in Europe for two seasons.
Similar to the guys drafted after Sato, he started off his career slow. They however, have now had five seasons in the NBA to improve their games and prove their worth. Sato has only played one season in the NBA.
This summer he should work on his shooting off the dribble, in an effort to improve his comfort level. In Eurobasketball he got away with being much more athletic than his defenders. That won’t happen in the NBA.