Wake-up call: Wizards will hold firm on Tomas Satoransky

Wake-up call: Wizards will hold firm on Tomas Satoransky
June 24, 2014, 6:00 am
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(Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

Plenty has come out of Tomas Satoransky's mouth recently, particularly that he won't play for the NBA team that owns his rights -- the Wizards, who selected him in the second round of the 2012 draft -- in Las Vegas summer league that runs July 11-21. 

As usual in these situations, the hangup is money, CSN Washington has confirmed. The Wizards remain unmoved by the posturing. 

Now a free agent after leading Cajasol of the Spanish ACB League to the playoffs, Satoransky wants a contract before competing in summer league for the second time for the Wizards, and he wants something greater than a rookie scale deal. He was selected No. 32 overall. 

For the Wizards' part, they're not going to use the mid-level to sign him. These back-and-forths unfold routinely around the NBA when teams have rights to international players who have suitors in other leagues. How long did it take for the Minnesota Timberwolves to bring over Ricky Rubio from Spain? The Chicago Bulls are still waiting for 6-10 Nikola Mirotic, whose rights they've owned since 2011 while he prospers in the Spanish ACB which is considered the second-best basketball league in the world. Trying to fit Mirotic on the roster, particularly if they're able to land Carmelo Anthony as a free agent, presents a salary cap problem. 

As the Wizards see it, Satoransky doesn't have any real leverage with them, but he does have some in Europe where he can get competing offers from top teams such as Valencia and Barcelona. The thought process is to show the Wizards what these other teams are offering and threaten to sign which would tie up Satoransky, 22, contractually. 

The Wizards seem content to take their chances and live with the result. They're counting on what they know about Satoransky, who has dreamed of playing in the NBA since he was 15. And now he can work his way into the Wizards' lineup firmly behind John Wall as the No. 2 point guard on a playoff team. 

Andre Miller, who has a team option for 2014-15, occupies that spot now and is on his way out at 38 years old. What team has a better backcourt situation than this for the 6-7 Czech to learn the ropes and succeed? 

This is why the Wizards aren't in a panic. They've vested the time with Satoransky and believe they have his pulse better than anyone despite his bold public statements that sound contrived. Whenever he plays in the NBA, they're determined it'll be in a Wizards uniform because trading Satoransky's rights to move up from the No. 46 pick in Thursday's draft, for example, isn't a serious option barring an 11th-hour change of heart.

The ball is in his court.