The Czech Republic’s Tomas “Saty” Satoransky declared for the 2012 NBA Draft before the 5 p.m. deadline on Monday, per Tweet of ESPN’s Chad Ford. When he worked out for the Washington Wizards last Friday, he said he was leaning toward staying. Now, whether he would be willing to get picked but remain in Europe for a season or two, i.e., Euro Stash, Satoransky said he was undecided.
One issue: Ford calls Satoransky a wing; he calls himself a point guard. Can he hang in a point guard’s League? Can he defend other NBA points? His answer seems simple: scouting.
“Always they’re going to be faster then you because they’re smaller, they are more athletic, but you gotta use also the basketball I.Q. against this,” he told me. Implementation remains to be seen.
Satoransky also realizes his jump shot is seen as a weakness by scouts — “Most important: compete, play hard, hustle; so they can see that you are really fighting about this,” was his answer to pre-draft workouts, not the need for a jump shooting spectacle – but he says that improving strength his a higher priority.
“In Europe, it’s fine, nobody puts you in the basket. Here it’s more physical, more one-on-one, so I think strength will be most important.”
Watch: Satoransky’s post-workout interview.
He’s got a long way to go either way, but especially on that jumper. You can infer little from Satoransky’s “7″ Drill (video below) other that his shooting does, in fact, need work – people have to understand that this drill usually comes at the very end of a grueling workout. Including Satoransky’s make before the video started, he completed his “7″ Drill going 16-for-27. Bradley Beal completed his “7″ Drill on 12-for-17 shooting and looked much more energetic and fluid in the process.
Watch: Tomas Satoransky & the “7″ Drill.
In his just-released Draft Rater column (ESPN Insider), John Hollinger ranks Satoransky No. 50 on his big board. Draft Express has him going at No. 55 to the Dallas Mavericks in their mock. Ford denotes Satoransky as a potential late first round pick and ranks him the 40th best prospect overall. Scouts like his height, his court vision and handles, and his potential to improve his shot, but this surface glance doesn’t scream a second round pick who’s going to stick on an NBA roster next season.
Still, between his athleticism and play-making**, Satoransky is intriguing enough. And sometimes that’s all an NBA GM needs. Oh yea… Satoransky can also jump. Sometimes that’s all fans still watching stock footage highlights late into the second round on draft night need.
Satoransky hauled in first place at the 2010 Spanish ACB League Dunk Contest with a baseline between-the-legs dunk, by catching a friend’s pass off the side of the backboard and finishing with a windmill, and by jumping over two kneeling girls in black body suits and gold hats. It’s everything you would imagine form a Euro dunk contest and perhaps less.***
But can he dunk more than fellow Czech, Airwolf Jan Vesely? (Vesely and Satoransky have known and played with each other for years.) What if they went head to head?
“No, Jan wouldn’t have a chance,” Satoransky said with a laugh and a smile. “He’s not creative.”
Can the NBA stand two Czech dunkers, much less two kissers?
Satoransky also says that if drafted, he would kiss his girlfriend to keep with the Czech tradition sparked by Vesely at last year’s draft. While him ending up in the Green Room in Newark, New Jersey to make draft night magic like Vesely did is improbable, Satoransky is likely to get picked by someone at this point. It’s just that the smooch just might have to happen from the stands.
Note: Including his workout in D.C., Satoransky also worked out for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, in addition to appearing at the Chicago Pre-Draft Combine as well as Eurocamp in Treviso, Italy.
** Check out some of these plays from Satoransky’s play in the Eurocup Final in April 2011 (No. 8).
Fairly nice. But, also realize that Satoransky’s team, Cajasol Sevilla lost, 92-77; Tomas had four points (1-for-3 shooting, 0-for-2 from three) and four assists in 22 minutes.