Tomas Satoransky in 2012-13 with Cajasol: Dunking on Teams, NBA Dreams
[Wizards 2012-13 Player Reviews from the TAI crew are going down; let’s reflect—index so far:
Jannero Pargo, Jason Collins, Shaun Livingston, Shelvin Mack, Cartier Martin, Earl Barron,
Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton, Trevor Booker, Garrett Temple, Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza,
Martell Webster, A.J. Price, Jordan Crawford, Kevin Seraphin, Bradley Beal, Nene, John Wall.]
Lukas Kuba reviews the Spanish League season of Tomas Satoransky, ’12 Wizards 2nd rounder.
6-7 : Height
205 lbs. : Weight
21 : Age
6 : Years Pro Experience
2 : Teams (USK Prague, Cajasol Sevilla)
Drafted by the Wizards 32nd overall in 2012.
Stats as a Cajasol player in 2012-13
33 : Games
33 : Starts
962 : Minutes
12.5 : PPG
51% : 2P FGs%
34% : 3P FGs%
79% : FT%
4.2 : APG
3.2 : RPG
1.2 : SPG
12 : Games
9 : Starts
336 : Minutes
10.2 : PPG
48% : 2P FG%
30% : 3P FG%
77% : FT%
4.8 : APG
3.8 : RPG
0.8 : SPG
Tomas Satoransky in 2012-13 with Cajasol:
Dunking on Teams, NBA Dreams
by Lukas Kuba (@Luke_Mellow)
Maybe Tomas Satoransky will pan out for Washington, maybe he won’t. Maybes notwithstanding, what Wizards fan wouldn’t want a Czech guy who likes Lil’ Wayne? I kid, I kid.
Got some good news, though. The Wizards second round draftee has been a legit leader and MVP for his Spanish League team, Cajasol, all season. Although his team finished 15th in the ACB League with a 12-22 record, Satoransky impressed with his play. Former NBAer Rudy Fernandez won the ACB’s Most Spectacular Player award, but he faced the stiffest competition from Satoransky almost all season long. In the end, the baby-faced Saty ended up in the third place (being overtaken by Marcus Slaughter), but was still wowed fans with an array of his trademark dunks, alley-oops, breakaway slams, and slick dimes. Let’s watch…
Satoransky led Cajasol in points, assists, and the Spanish version of PER. His 4.2 assists per game also ranked second amongst all ACB players, and he finished just outside of the ACB’s top 15 in scoring. Other ACB ranks: eighth in minutes per game, 15th in 2-point field goals, 11th in steals per game, and fourth in fouls drawn. Furthermore, Satoransky dragged Cajasol to a solid showing at Eurocup, reaching the “Last 16” stage.
I’ve only seen a couple of Satoransky’s games this season, but it seems that he is shooting the ball with more confidence, but the jumper still needs a lot of work. If John Wall (and others) can improve their jumpers, it shouldn’t be a problem with Satoransky, who is known to have a real passion for the game and is enthusiastic about getting better. Also, he’s more durable and agile compared to last season, as he’s gotten older and grown into his body. Hypothetically, what’s the best case scenario for Satoransky? A dunking Greivis Vasquez? That could be very intriguing for an NBA team looking for a scorer/playmaker off the bench. (Hey, the Washington Wizards! … potentially)
The future for the kid whom Czech Basketmag called “bohemian” is uncertain. Basketmag also call Saty “an exhibitionist” through and through, saying that he likes attracting attention and that he’s a hoops junkie with a ton of energy on and off the floor.
This past season, Satoransky really enjoyed freedom in the system put in place by new head coach Aito Garcia Reneses. He also loves Seville:
“I‘m very happy [here], of course. This is my fourth year here and I have always said that I have fallen in love with Seville. I love this city, people are very friendly and we have a great team.”
Roughly a month ago, “La Perla Checa,” as Satoransky has been dubbed (which translates to the Czech Pearl), said that he does not know where he’ll play next season. But one thing is clear: his ultimate dream is to play in the NBA. If not soon (or ever), he wants to continue playing for an Euroleague-level team. At the end of March, when asked if his desire is to go to the NBA next season, Satoransky said:
“Well, not yet. It is true that I am drafted, we are in contact with people of [the Wizards], but my goal right now is to finish the season in Seville in the best way possible. After summer, when things are not so tense, I’ll see what offers are out there, if I stay in Seville. We will talk to any Euroleague team, [that’s] the type of competition I would like to play before going to the NBA. I still have much to improve upon before going to the NBA.”
Recently, he told Radio Marca that he hopes to meet with his agent and the Cajasol Sevilla brass at the end of season to discuss his future. There are rumblings that another ACB League team, Caja Laboral Baskonia, wants to have Tomas on their roster for 2013-14. Jan Vesely sure wishes Tomas will impress the Wizards coaches in training camp this fall (and perhaps summer league prior) and land a contract to play alongside him. But make no mistake about it, despite the lure of the Euroleague road, Tomas wants to play in the NBA.
This spring a Facebook friend of mine and softball player/coach, Petr Marek, attended two of Satoransky’s games (against FCB Regal Barcelona and Unicaja Malaga). Here’s what he had to say (translated from Czech):
First off, if you’re a foodie like myself, Spanish cuisine in the Andalusian town of Seville is amazing. I could talk about Sevillan restaurants, tapas bars, mercados full of various fish and fresh vegetables, Rioja wines all day long. They even have a Spanish Dunkin’ Donuts out there! The city is simply full of colors, flavors and tastes—every day is an experience. But we’re supposed to talk about basketball here.
Living in Seville and not going to see a hoops game is actually the same thing as not going to see a soccer game. One does not have to decide which team to cheer on; there are no rivalries, just one team: Cajasol! The results of Cajasol games this year have been rather disappointing. An array of players left the “Blue and White” club before the season, and the goals of playing an exciting brand of basketball and contending for a championship in the Liga ACB began to show cracks.
However, in the provincial Spanish city there’s been something to watch for quite a while, something that Seville fans can count on: Tomas Satoransky, the Prague-born Czech player who is getting experience and playing time competing in the most prestigious basketball league in the old continent. Full disclaimer: I’m friends with his girlfriend, so I can say he’s my acquaintance, but I think there’s no doubt Satoransky earned himself a tryout for an NBA roster spot with his performances this season. Where would the Cajasol team be without Satoransky these last few years? It is not so difficult to assess. They would most likely be relegated to the lower division at the end of this season, and without Saty, the team would have a hard time getting back into the first division next year.
Basketball is Spain’s second national sport, after soccer, but you can say that arriving 15 minutes late everywhere is also some kind of national sport. (As you might know, Latin American and Iberian culture is infamous for its dependence on the Mañana phenomenon. Maybe it’s really just symptomatic of a warmer climate and a more relaxed pace of life.) But late arrivals don’t happen on game day inside Cajasol’s basketball temple. Well before the opening tip, and the Palacio Municipal San Pablo arena is considerably full with everybody waiting on the good guys to show up for warm-ups. I enjoyed a good view from behind the bench in the Barcelona game, scoring the ticket for 30€ [just under $39 U.S.]. For the second game, Saty’s girlfriend invited me to watch and got two tickets for us from Satoransky. I would like to thank him again here, I really appreciated it. Other members of Cajasol’s roster include Saty’s fellow countryman, Ondrej Balvin, Serbians Luka Bogdanovic and Milenko Tepic, John Holland of Boston University, former Tulsa 66er Latavious Williams, Roderick Blakney of South Carolina State, the University of Miami’s Brian Asbury, and Spaniard Joan Sastre. The whole arena rages when it’s time for player introductions and, as to be expected, the biggest ovations go to Saty at the moment the PA announcer cries out: “Number 8… Tomaaaas Satoranskyyy!”
First of all, his playing load is unreal. He goes all-out, all the time, and even more renowned players could envy his reading of the game. And I’m sure by next season, they’re going to hear about the 21-year old Czech.He makes everyone remember him easily—each play called by Saty is dangerous and the opponents have to be on high alert. From movements of his hands and feet, you can hardly read what brilliant idea is forming in Saty’s head. Three quick steps, a pass on target and then it’s just up to his teammate who’s wide-open to drain the jumper. And if his teammates scored more often from such opportunities, the Cajasol team would be definitely higher in the standings. They are not in the threat of the relegation zone, but just barely. When it seems like no help is coming his way, Satoransky aggressively attacks the basket with agile drives to score points for his squad. In the Malaga game, he had one of his trademark high-flying dunks that ended up as the No. 1 play of the round. When he goes to take a breather on the bench, there’s a sight of relief seen on the opponents‘ faces and the arena sadly quiets down. He cannot play every minute, but sans him, Cajasol’s game is without order and smart plays. What a pity. The fans deserve more than just one superstar on their team.
Why isn’t Cajasol better? I think the two biggest weaknesses are: 1) shooting—Satoransky would have a lot more assists if they had better shooters, and 2) play of the bigs down low—on both the defensive end and on the offensive end. The club is full of young players, and they need to get experience, play as much as they can and sharpen their elbows. If Satoransky indeed leaves for the NBA this year, it’ll be a crushing loss for Cajasol. For Tomas, it would not only be a dream come true, but also an opportunity to prove he can ball on the world’s biggest stage. By having a better quality team around him, his performance on the floor is going to grow yet. In every game I’ve seen him, he fights like a bull and doesn’t take any plays off. He knows that is the only way to succeed and that’s what he plays for—team success and wins. Tomas is a winner, that’s why the Washington Wizards should bring him to their team as soon as possible.