Tomas Satoransky, the Wizards' second round pick in the 2012 draft, is reportedly a step closer to joining the team next season, according to a report.
After a great Eurobasket tournament with the Czech Republic and a good Euroleague season, Satoransky is ready to take the next step in his career. Meanwhile, Barcelona is already searching the market for a new starting point guard. The first target of the team is All Euroleague team member Malcolm Delaney, who is going to be a free agent, but his priority is expected also to be the NBA. Barcelona, however, will have enough money to spend in order to lure him, since the team will be able to use the buy out of Satoransky for this purpose and also the money which were going to be spend on the Czech’s contract.
Satoransky signed an extension with Barcelona back in March that appeared to lock him up with his club in Europe at the time, but apparently it came with a buyout clause that gives him a chance to join the Wizards this summer.
So why did Satoransky and Barcelona agree to an extension knowing there was a chance he could leave before he played a game under the new deal? Because it gives both sides leverage in future negotiations. It gives Satoransky protection to keep the Wizards from lowballing him in contract negotiations. Because it's been four years since the Wizards drafted Satoransky, he's no longer bound to the rookie scale. Instead, the Wizards have to use cap space or a cap exception, such as the mid-level exception, to sign him to a deal. And as Varlas explains in the article, the buyout money gives Barcelona more money to spend on replacing Satoransky if he leaves.
If the Wizards do buy out Satoransky's contract, it carries some interesting salary cap implications for this summer. CBA FAQ explains how it works:
NBA teams signing international players are allowed to pay a buyout to the player's team or organization in order to release the player to sign in the NBA. The buyout amount is a matter of negotiation between the player and the international team or organization. NBA teams are allowed to pay up to the Excluded International Player Payment Amount, and this amount is not charged to the team salary. Any amount above the Excluded International Player Payment Amount comes out of the player's (after-tax) salary, and therefore is included in the team's team salary.
It is a common misconception that a buyout cannot exceed the excluded amount. On the contrary, buyouts can exceed the excluded amount, but any amount above the excluded amount essentially comes out of the player's paycheck. For example, if a team's second round pick in 2011 has a $1 million buyout, the team can use its (Non-Taxpayer or Taxpayer) Mid-Level exception to sign the player. [...} The amount above the excluded amount is charged to the team's team salary as a signing bonus.
The Excluded International Player Payment Amount for the 2016-17 season is $650,000. So if Satoransky's buyout is $1.5 million, as Varlas reported, he'll count for an extra $850,000 against the team's cap next season on top of whatever contract he agrees to with the team. Considering how much cap space the Wizards have this summer, this is the ideal time to carry that extra money from Satoransky's buyout.
If Satoransky does join the team this summer, he'll be expected to give the second unit a boost right away. He's played very well in Europe over the past couple of years and sFran Fraschilla and David Pick are both very high on him.