This is the next installment of our player review series, where we look back at the individual performance of each Wizard this season. With so many players set to hit free agency this summer, we’ll also examine what kind of value they’ll have this summer. In this installment, we’ll look at Tomas Satoransky.
Tomas Satoransky came into the 2018-19 season picking up from where he left off on an individual level. He averaged 8.9 points and 5 assists in 80 games played. He continued to be a steady point guard presence when John Wall sat out the season for heel injuries.
Let’s take a look at Satoransky’s season and what the future holds.
Positives this season
There are many positives with Satoransky’s game. So let’s take a look a them here:
- More willingness to drive to the basket — He has never been a score-first guard, but Satoransky took 3.5 free throws per 100 possessions, higher than each of his rate in the previous two seasons.
- His free throw shooting has also improved — Driving to the basket for additional free throws is great. What’s better? Higher free throw percentage. Satoransky made a career-high 81.9 percent of his shots at the charity stripe.
- Durability — Satoransky played nearly every game last season, only missing gametime for the birth of his first child.
- Earning Scott Brooks’ confidence — Last season, I listed this as one of Satoransky’s negatives because the Wizards head coach apparently felt lukewarm about him until there were no other options. But last season, Brooks did more to get Satoransky playing time even when Wall was healthy.
The end result of these positives led to big performances like this triple-double against the Bucks on Jan. 11.
Spots for improvement
Like everyone else, Satoransky has spots where he can improve. Here’s where.
- Pull-up shooting — Though he is a strong catch-and-shoot player, Satoransky shot just 34.5 percent in pull-up situations. Whether it’s from mid-range or three, improving this area will help keep defenses honest. Improving pull-up shots will also help Satoransky improve his midrange shooting which took a slight dip from last year.
- Drive more to the basket when it makes sense — No one is asking Satoransky to be a one-for-one Wall replacement. However, he shouldn’t be too hesitant to go toward the basket for possible free throw opportunities.
Satoransky is a restricted free agent. The Wizards can match any offer sheet he signs. Teams like the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers have cap space to sign him to a maximum level salary in theory. But it’s more realistic that he will earn a contract in the $7 to $10 million range.
Perhaps the Wizards can sign him to a deal that is in that range but it won’t be easy. The Wizards don’t have a reliable option to start at point guard unless they can find a cheaper veteran option, in the draft with their first round pick or if Bradley Beal takes the role next season.