When the Wizards drafted Tomas Satoransky with the 32nd overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, it came with the understanding that Satoransky would spend a couple of years in Europe developing his game before he came over to the states. Now, at the time when most expected Satoransky to make the jump, things appear to be getting tense.
In May, J. Michael of CSN Washington reported the Wizards asked Satoransky to play for the team in this year's Summer League, but in a recent interview with Basket magazine (yes, the same magazine that had Jan Vesely dress up like a Wizard for a cover) he made it clear he wasn't interested. (Quotes via Truth About It's excellent Lukas Kuba, who you should already be following on Twitter.)
#Satoransky: "As I've already said, I don’t want to play Summer League ball for Wizards. I already played for them in Summer League . . .— Lukas Kuba (@Luke_Mellow) June 10, 2014
. . . so they saw me play there, they know my game and I don’t see any reason why I should play there again." #satoransky— Lukas Kuba (@Luke_Mellow) June 10, 2014
He is correct -- he did play for the Wizards Summer League team in the past -- but you can understand why the Wizards might want to take another look at him. Satoransky averaged 4.4 points, 1.8 assists and 1.2 rebounds in 13.3 minutes per game during the Wizards five game schedule in Las Vegas in 2012, but did not play for the Wizards in the 2013 Summer League. Also, if you remember, Satoransky told Mike Prada after he was drafted in 2012 that he wasn't originally planning on playing in that year's Summer League. At first, he wanted to help the Czech national team qualify for 2013 Eurobasket, but was convinced by his agent to make the trip to Las Vegas.
Since then, things have gotten more tense. After John Wall received a max contract last summer, Satoransky said it was "clear" the Wizards were not an ideal situation for him, and sitting on the bench behind Wall would "stunt his development." Plus, the Wizards traded fellow Czech Jan Vesely to acquire Andre Miller as a backup to John Wall at point guard. With that in mind, you can understand why Satoransky said this:
#Saty: "Another Summer League would do close to nothing for my individual improvement. Provided that, in the future, some other NBA . . .— Lukas Kuba (@Luke_Mellow) June 10, 2014
. . . team would want me to play [SL] for them, maybe I’d think about it, but that’s hypothetically speaking." #satoransky— Lukas Kuba (@Luke_Mellow) June 10, 2014
Like Juan Carlos Navarro before him, it seems like the Wizards are reaching an impasse with Tomas Satoransky. Between Wall and Miller, there's not much playing time to go around at point guard, and a standard rookie deal for a second-round pick won't match the money he could potentially make staying in Europe. The only question is, can the Wizards leverage his success in Europe to trade his rights to another team. Never forget: The Wizards used the draft rights to Vladimir Veremeenko to acquire Kirk Hinrich, Kevin Seraphin AND $3 million in cash. Anything is possible.