- The Washington Times - Friday, July 22, 2016

The decision became easier after four years overseas. Tomas Satoransky always wanted to come to the NBA, but was level-headed enough to realize his game would be better off by developing in Europe first.

After four years in Spain, and time with the Czech national team, the Washington Wizards newest guard/forward felt prepared for the broad adaptation process that awaits him in the United States.

“It’s a very big challenge for me,” Satoransky said Friday on a conference call. “I think I’m a competitive person. I’m looking forward to this challenge. I agree this four years since I’ve been drafted really helped me to get experience, which I needed. The last two years was really positive progress for me to be able to play in Barcelona and compete against the best European players. So, I really hope I can use this experience and just help the team as soon as possible.”

The changes are significant for the 24-year-old Prague native who briefly spent time in the United States when he played on the Wizards 2012 summer league team. He plans to come to the U.S. on Aug. 8 to join other Wizards rookies. He hopes to figure out where to live then. That process is yet to begin since Satoransky went from the close of his season with FC Barcelona Basquet, straight to joining the Czech national team and working out the contract logistics with Washington in between.

“I’m with my girlfriend for five years already and I hope it’s going to help to adjust to the life of America,” Satoransky said.

He also has a plethora of things to become accustomed to in his new league. Satoransky mentioned the difference in distance between 3-point shots in the NBA and Europe (23 feet, 9 inches versus 22 feet, 2 inches), the athleticism and speed of the game. The schedule is also a significant change. He’s walking into an 82-game season instead of a 34-game regular season in the ACB League. He played 72 total games last season between the ACB League (Spain) and Euroleague, 68 the year before.

“I will have to adjust as soon as possible,” Satoransky said.

Last season, Satoransky averaged 10.7 points and 4.3 assists while shooting .439 from three-point range in 43 games for Barcelona. He signed with the Wizards on Thursday after verbally agreeing to a contract almost three weeks ago and being drafted by the team in the second round of the 2012 draft. Wrangling players free from their European contracts can be laborious.

“I wouldn’t say it was a difficult process,” Satoransky said. “It was kind of a long process and it wasn’t the best time because when we verbally agreed with the Washington Wizards, at that time I was with my national team playing a qualification for Olympic games. I was kind of caught in the moment with the national team. I think it went pretty quickly from that moment. Obviously, you have a lot of things to do when you’re under contract with a European team, but I think we agreed on all the things pretty quickly.”

He’ll operate as part of a fully revamped bench in Washington. Satoransky is much-needed depth behind Bradley Beal and John Wall. He played off the ball a lot in Barcelona and with it for his national team. Satoransky anticipates his ability to create for others will translate right away. The only other signed backup for Beal prior was veteran Marcus Thornton.

Satoransky’s signing should lead to Beal signing his verbally agreed upon maximum contract. To make the math work with the salary cap, Beal, who was a restricted free agent, had to be signed last by the team.

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