Tomas Satoransky’s Translated Euroleague Statistics

adidas / Roberto Serra

Selected 32nd overall in the 2012 NBA draft, Tomas Satoransky took a number of Washington Wizards fans by surprise. With numerous intriguing, higher profile players available at that point in the draft, the pick was met with a lot of skepticism and even some outright disappointment around D.C. Fans just can't get excited for someone who they've never seen play, never heard of, and who doesn't have much in the way of the kind of flashy YouTube highlights that have become a staple of the last few years of draft watching.

Normally, statistics can give fans at least a rough idea of what a player can and can't do, but with the differences in talent level, style, and visibility of the Euroleague versus the NBA, most fans aren't entirely sure what to make of them.

While the sample size is extremely small due to his limited minutes, for the sake of curiosity I attempted to translate his Euroleague production using a method developed by ESPN's John Hollinger in 2009.

On average, switching from the Euroleague to the NBA does the following to a player's pace-adjusted per-minute stats:

  • Scoring rate decreases 25 percent
  • Rebound rate increases by 18 percent
  • Assist rate increases by 31 percent
  • Shooting percentage drops by 12 percent
  • Overall, player efficiency rating drops by 30 percent

Applying this to Satoransky's Euroleague statistics leads to the following averages per pace-adjusted 40 minutes:

Year

League

GP

Min

ADJ POINTS

ADJ FG%

ADJ REB

ADJ ASTS

ADJ PER

2009/10

ACB

27

7

10.4

43

4.6

6.8

8.96

2010/11

ACB

12

18

9.4

42.3

5.7

5.1

11.06

2010/11

EUROCUP

6

21

9.4

45.5

5

8.9

12.04

As stated, he didn't play a lot in his two years of Euroleague play, so these statistics should be taken with an entire bag of salt. He also had a very small role in his teams' offense, with his job typically being to merely bring the ball up the court, then get out of the way.

Still, there are a few things that can be gleaned from his production, most notably that he's a solid rebounder who can create plays for others, which backs up his reputation as an athlete. While his adjusted field goal percentage doesn't appear awful at first glance, it's important to keep in mind that his role in the offense was to get his points off of high percentage garbage baskets, so the roughly 43 percent he shot from the field for his career is actually worse than it seems.

Satoransky's athleticism and size are what the Wizards' front office likely expect will make him a valuable player, and they do appear to check out. He's been mentioned as a possible point guard and his assist totals suggest that this will be possible, although his negative pure point rating during the 2009-2010 season should be viewed as a red flag (to be fair, most young point guards struggle, he was 18 years old and playing against seasoned professionals at the time, and he improved during the following season). A move to the wing has also been discussed, and while he rebounds adequately for a shooting guard and would be a plus-playmaker there, his scoring averages and percentages were so poor as to make you question whether or not it would do more harm than good to take the ball out of his hands.

Satoransky has demonstrated just enough in his limited minutes and role in the Euroleague that it's actually not inconceivable that he develops into the kind of tall, playmaking guard Grunfeld envisioned on draft night, especially if he can improve his jumper enough that he can spot up for three pointers, allowing him to play off the ball more often.

Realistically, there were better prospects available with the 32nd pick and it's entirely possible Satoransky doesn't pan out. If his Euroleague production holds up, though, he should at least be able to earn a roster spot, and at the end of the day, that's really not that bad for any second round pick.

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