Tomas Satoransky

Wizards Notes: Robinson, GM Search, Satoransky, Green

The incident that led to Devin Robinson‘s dismissal from the Wizards was a fight with Jalen Mills of the Philadelphia Eagles outside a Washington, D.C., nightclub early this morning, reports Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. The Wizards issued a statement after the altercation saying they won’t extend a qualifying offer to the two-way player for next season.

Robinson and Mills were both arrested after the fight, which D.C. police say began with a verbal altercation. They wound up trading punches outside the Opera Ultra Lounge at 2:56am, resulting in Robinson being taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

The 24-year-old recently returned from a hip injury that sidelined him for two months. He appeared in seven NBA games this season and one last year. Robinson’s agent refused to comment on the incident.

There’s more Wizards news to pass along:

  • David Griffin’s decision to join the Pelicans removes the potential top candidate in Washington’s search for a new GM, according to Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington. Losing out on Griffin may improve the chances that senior VP of basketball operations Tommy Sheppard will be promoted to the GM’s role, but the Wizards won’t be in a hurry to make a move. Owner Ted Leonsis said he plans to reflect on the situation for about three weeks while consulting with a search firm.
  • Danny Ferry, who served as interim GM in New Orleans and is the son of former Bullets GM Bob Ferry, has been mentioned as a possibility for the Wizards, along with Nets assistant GM Trajan Langdon, who was also a candidate for the Pelicans’ job. Nuggets president Tim Connelly, Thunder VP of basketball operations Troy Weaver and Celtics assistant GM Mike Zarren may also receive consideration, but Standig doesn’t believe Zarren is likely to leave Boston.
  • No matter what happens with restricted free agent Tomas Satoransky, he’s sure of which position he wants to play, Standig relays in a separate story“I’m a point guard. I’m definitely a point guard. I will never be agreeing with someone that tells me otherwise,” he said. That’s where the Wizards used him after John Wall‘s season-ending injury and what his role projects to be if he returns to Washington with Wall possibly sidelined for all of next year. Standig states that management approached Satoransky about a long-term deal at mid-season, but he and his representatives preferred to test the free agent waters.
  • Jeff Green, who is headed for unrestricted free agency after signing a one-year deal last summer, enjoyed the chance to play in his hometown, he says in a video interview tweeted by the team.

Southeast Notes: Satoransky, Sibert, Clifford, McRae

Wizards point guard Tomas Satoransky has become a starter due to John Wall‘s injuries but he still envisions returning to Spain later in his career, as he told ACB.com in a story relayed by Sportando. Satoransky played for two Spanish teams before joining the NBA.

“I have a lot of goals to accomplish in the NBA, but I always think that I would love to return to Spain,” the Wizards guard said. “I grew up there, I love the people and Spanish basketball. I love Spanish life and, one day, I would love to return to Liga Endesa (the Spanish league).”

We have more from around the Southeast Division:

  • Shooting guard Jordan Sibert always believed he’d get an NBA contract, as he told Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. Sibert, who went undrafted out of Dayton in 2015, finally got his chance when the Hawks offered a 10-day deal last week. He played in Greece and Germany along with the G League the last few years before Atlanta came calling. “I believed that I was talented to get it done,” Sibert said. “I just wanted to work every day, and if it happened, it happened. I get on my knees every day, and I thank God just for my daily blessings. This is just another one that I am thankful for.”
  • Magic coach Steve Clifford follows the coaching philosophy of former Pistons coach and executive Stan Van Gundy, according to John Denton of the team’s website. Clifford was an assistant when Van Gundy was head coach in Orlando. “Stan used to say, and we do this all the time, ‘We prepare for every game like it’s a playoff game.’ We go over 10 plays every game, while a lot of teams wait until the playoffs,” Clifford said. “Sometimes people want to say, ‘It’s a big game,’ but you prepare to play important games in September. … That’s the approach we’ve had all the way through.”
  • Wizards guard Jordan McRae is nearing the end of his 45-day NBA clock as a two-way player and he’s likely to spend more time in the G League to avoid reaching the limit, as Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington explains. The franchise would risk losing him or be forced to sign him to a standard contract if he doesn’t spend most of the next four weeks with the Capital City Go Go, Hughes continues. The team wants to retain McRae but it’s barely under the luxury tax threshold and doesn’t want to go over it by converting McRae’s contract, Hughes adds.

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Southeast Division

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we turn our attention to the Southeast Division:

Dewayne Dedmon, Hawks, 29, C (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $14.1MM deal in 2017
Dedmon seems like a prime candidate to hit the buyout market, but incentive clauses in his contract may motivate him to stick out the season in Atlanta. As long as Dedmon stays in the rotation, spending the season with the lottery-bound Hawks shouldn’t hurt his value when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. Dedmon has evolved into a ‘stretch five’ in the sixth year of his career. Lately, he’s taken a majority of his shots from beyond the arc and he’s getting pretty good at it. He’s shooting 46.4% from long range this month and 38.6% for the season, which will serve as a nice selling point.

Kemba Walker, Hornets, 28, PG (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $48MM deal in 2015
Walker will be the second-best point guard on the market after Kyrie Irving but he’ll hardly be a consolation prize. Walker has been terrific throughout the season and he’s off to a blazing start this month. In his last four games, he’s averaging 34.0 points, 8.0 assists and 5.8 rebounds. Walker is averaging a career-high 25.1 PPG this season and has missed just six games since the 2015/16 campaign. Walker has been working on a team-friendly contract paying him $12MM annually. He’ll get a gargantuan raise whether he decides to stick with the Hornets or join one of the many teams with significant cap space seeking a top-flight free agent.

Rodney McGruder, Heat, 27, SG (Down) – Signed to a three-year, $3.4MM deal in 2016
McGruder lost his rotation spot, then got it back when Wayne Ellington and Tyler Johnson were traded last week. In the last two games, McGruder has scored a total of four points on 2-for-10 shooting. He’s lacking in confidence, as evidenced by the fact he’s missed his last 17 3-point attempts. Coming off an injury-marred 2017/18 campaign, McGruder got off to a strong start and contributed as a play-maker as well as a scorer. Miami can make him a restricted free agent by extending a modest $3MM qualifying offer this summer, but even that’s no longer a sure thing.

Jerian Grant, Magic, 26, PG (Down) — Signed to a four-year, $7.57MM deal in 2015
Grant had a golden opportunity to enhance his value after getting traded to Orlando in July via a three-team swap. He entered one of the sketchiest point guard situations in the league but after failing to beat out journeyman D.J. Augustin for the starting job, he has also fallen behind Isaiah Briscoe on the depth chart. Grant has played a total of six garbage-time minutes over the last six games. It’s hard to imagine Orlando extending a $3.76MM qualifying offer to make Grant a restricted free agent, so he’ll be scrounging for a fresh start elsewhere.

Tomas Satoransky, Wizards, 27, PG (Up)– Signed to a three-year, $9MM deal in 2016
John Wall‘s pain has led to Satorsansky’s gain and he could cash in before he becomes a restricted free agent. Reports surfaced early last month that the team has engaged with Satoransky’s representatives regarding an extension. With Wall likely out all of next year after tearing his Achilles, Satoransky becomes even more valuable to the franchise. He could sign for as much as $47.5MM over a four-year period on an extension and he hasn’t hurt his cause since taking over as the primary point man. He’s racked up eight or more assists in nine games since January 9th.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Wizards Exploring Extension For Tomas Satoransky

The Wizards are making a push to sign Tomas Satoransky to a contract extension before he reaches restricted free agency in July, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington, who hears from sources that the two sides have engaged in preliminary talks.

The interest in a new deal appears to be mutual, as Hughes reports that Satoransky is open to remaining with the Wizards long-term. Although the 27-year-old is in just his third NBA season and is still on his first contract, he technically signed a “veteran” contract as a former second-round pick rather than the rookie contract signed by first-rounders. That means he’s eligible to sign an in-season extension.

[RELATED: Players eligible for veteran contract extensions in 2018/19]

Satoransky, the 32nd overall pick in the 2012 draft, has developed into a reliable contributor for the Wizards over the course of 171 regular season games. Although he has primarily served as a backup point guard, Satoransky has taken on a starting role in each of the last two seasons due to John Wall‘s health issues.

Overall this season, Satoransky has averaged 7.0 PPG, 3.1 APG, and 2.4 RPG with a .495/.397/.813 shooting line in 41 games (21.6 MPG). Those numbers have increased to 10.1 PPG, 4.3 APG, and 3.4 RPG on .509/.429/.714 shooting in his 15 starts.

A player who signs a veteran contract extension is permitted to earn a starting salary worth up to 120% of the player’s previous salary of 120% of the NBA’s estimated average salary, whichever is greater. Since Satoransky is making just $3.13MM this season, he could get a starting salary worth up to approximately $10.6MM (120% of the estimated average salary) if he’s extended. Such a deal would max out at about $47.5MM over four years.

Spencer Dinwiddie signed a version of that extension last month, though Dinwiddie’s new contract is for just three years (and $34.4MM), rather than four. Of course, the Wizards – who already have $111MM+ on their books for 2019/20 – are under no obligation to offer Satoransky a full $10.6MM starting salary in an extension, so the actual terms would be a matter of negotiation. If the two sides can’t find common ground, Washington will need to issue a qualifying offer to Satoransky this summer to make him a restricted free agent.

Wizards Notes: Beal, Wall, Satoransky

The Wizards have shown no inclination yet that they have any interest in moving star guard Bradley Beal, but a pair of reports have given a clue of what the team’s asking price would be if Beal becomes available.

Rod Beard of The Detroit News tweeted on Wednesday that he has heard the Wizards would seek something like two first-round picks, a “young asset,” and another player in exchange for Beal. Sean Deveney of Sporting News reported something similar today, citing sources who say that Washington would want “two players and two draft picks” for Beal.

Building a deal for Beal might be tricky, since both the players and picks would have to be pretty valuable for the Wizards to consider moving their leading scorer — plus, a potential trade partner would almost certainly have to match Beal’s $25.4MM salary without including any unwanted multiyear contracts. We’ll have to wait to see if any club makes a viable offer to the Wizards in advance of next month’s trade deadline.

Here’s more out of D.C.:

  • In a column for The Athletic, David Aldridge compares the current Wizards to the 2015 Raptors, who were unceremoniously swept out of the first round by Washington. Despite calls to break up their roster, those Raps worked on surrounding Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan with more talent, and built a perennial 50-win contender. Given their salary commitments, the Wizards may have a hard time taking the same approach with Beal and John Wall, but Aldridge believes it’s possible.
  • Within that same article, Aldridge argues that the Wizards should make an effort to keep Wall’s minutes in check next season – and beyond – as they try to keep him healthy. That’s why re-signing RFA-to-be Tomas Satoransky is “a must, not a choice” in the offseason, per Aldridge.
  • As they did last season, the Wizards figure to make a concerted effort to move the ball around as much as possible on offense with Wall sidelined, writes Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington. Standig points to Wednesday’s win over Atlanta, in which the Wizards racked up 29 assists on 43 field goals, as a prime example of that approach. “We’re definitely going to miss [John] and hate that he’s out. Definitely not saying that we’re a better team without him. That’s far from the truth,” Beal said after Wednesday’s win. “But reality is reality. We have to accept the fact that [John] won’t be with us this year and do our best to make a run at it.”
  • With Markieff Morris set to be sidelined until at least mid-February, the Wizards will have to make some tough roster decisions before the February 7 trade deadline, as Standig details in a separate NBC Sports Washington story.

Southeast Notes: Satoransky, Toliver, Magic, Bacon

Wizards restricted free agent Tomas Satoransky has been thrust into the spotlight with John Wall opting for season-ending heel surgery, Chase Hughes on NBC Sports Washington notes. Satoransky takes over the starting point guard spot with Wall sidelined, with Chasson Randle, Ron Baker and Troy Brown Jr. in reserve. Coach Scott Brooks believes Satoransky can handle the pressure. “He’s ready for this,” Brooks said. “Tomas is going to get a great opportunity. He’s going to be more comfortable as the games go by.” Washington will need to make Satoransky a qualifying offer of $3.9MM to prevent him from becoming an unrestricted free agent.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Wizards assistant coach Kristi Toliver is being paid like an intern due to NBA rules, Howard Megdal of the New York Times reports. Since Toliver plays with the Mystics, who are also owned by Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, the league determined that Toliver’s compensation must come out of the $50K allocated to each team to pay WNBA players for off-season work. Much of that had already been promised to Mystics and WNBA star Elena Delle Donne, so Toliver is only making $10K.
  • The Magic will aggressively pursue a point guard in free agency, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders tweets. Orlando has been using journeyman D.J. Augustin as its starter this season with Jerian Grant as the primary backup.
  • The Hornets will likely bring back Dwayne Bacon with Jeremy Lamb injured, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer tweets. Lamb suffered a right hamstring strain on Monday. Bacon was assigned the team’s G League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm, on Sunday. Bacon, a second-year swingman, has appeared in 17 games with the Hornets, averaging 5.5 PPG in 12.4 MPG.

Wizards Notes: Wall, Beal, Morris, Satoransky

The Wizards have three options now that John Wall has decided to undergo heel surgery that will sideline him for the rest of the season, writes Fred Katz of The Athletic. The most drastic choice, a complete renovation that would include trading All-Star guard Bradley Beal, appears to be the least likely, according to Katz. He states that teams have already called about Beal, but the Wizards haven’t shown any interest in moving him. Otto Porter could be the biggest name the front office is willing to part with.

If Washington opts to tank this season, Katz says the team already has an example from what the Grizzlies did last year. Memphis got rid of some of its marginal talent, endured a losing season and wound up with the fourth pick in the draft. The Wizards are only about $5MM above the tax line and may want to add draft choices after trading away selections in the Jodie Meeks and Jason Smith deals. The Lakers may still be interested in Trevor Ariza, who has a $15MM expiring contract, and Markieff Morris‘ expiring $8.6MM deal could also be in play. Jeff Green, who is playing for the veterans minimum, could easily be moved into a trade exception.

The most likely direction, Katz adds, is to keep the current group of players together and see if they can make a run at the playoffs. Washington is 4.8 points per 100 possessions worse with Wall on the court this year and 11.4 points per 100 possessions worse over the past 25 games, so his absence may not be that difficult to overcome.

There’s more Wizards news to pass along:

  • Washington played well enough without Wall late last season to earn a playoff spot, but Ben Golliver of The Washington Post argues that tanking is the best long-term strategy. His advice is to reduce the workload for Beal, who is averaging 36.6 minutes per game, and unload as many veterans as possible.
  • Morris will see a specialist for a lingering neck injury, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Morris has been experiencing pain in his neck and upper back since being hit with an elbow in a December 16 game. Although he sat out two games this weekend, Morris remains optimistic about his prognosis. “It’s something where I think if it required surgery, they would have told me already,” he said. “I don’t think it’s that deep. I hope it’s not that deep.”
  • Wall’s absence will create more playing time for third-year guard Tomas Satoransky, who had 20 points in last night’s win over Charlotte. “Tomas is going to get a great opportunity,” coach Scott Brooks said in a tweet from the team. “He’s going to be more comfortable as the games go by. I think Tomas is going to excel in this. He’s ready for this. He had some moments last season that he saved our season.”

John Wall Leaning Towards Season-Ending Surgery

DECEMBER 29, 2:35pm: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN is now reporting that Wall is planning to undergo the season-ending surgery on his left heel, with doctors having recommended that he undergo the procedure soon.

DECEMBER 29, 2:27pm: Per Candace Buckner of The Washington Post, Wall is contemplating surgery on his injured left heel that would keep him out for six to eight months. Shams Charania of The Athletic adds that Wall has tried to battle through the pain, but it has become more significant, so he’s leaning toward having the surgery.

DECEMBER 28, 9:56pm: Wizards point guard John Wall will visit a specialist to examine bone spurs in his left heel, according to an Associated Press report.

Wall missed the Wizards’ 101-92 loss to Chicago on Friday. Dr. Robert Anderson, currently an associate team physician for the Green Bay Packers, will perform the examination, David Aldridge of The Athletic tweets. Anderson has performed operations on Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Cam Newton and Derek Jeter, Aldridge notes.

An extended Wall absence would likely extinguish any remaining playoff hopes for one of the league’s most disappointing teams. The long-term implications could be even more severe, since Wall’s four-year, $170MM super max extension kicks in next season.

Wall only played 41 regular-season games last season due to a knee injury. The heel injury has nagged Wall for several seasons, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Coach Scott Brooks said the heel has gotten worse recently. Wall played the first game after Christmas in Detroit and scored 21 points but was limited for four points after halftime.

“He has good days and bad days like a lot of guys through,” Brooks said. “He has been able to manage it. … It has been bothering him, so it’s time to see a specialist.”

Washington can only hope that Wall’s heel issues won’t linger. He will make a projected $38.1MM in the first year of his extension, nearly double his current salary. Based on current cap estimates, his salaries will escalate to $41.2MM and $44.25MM for the next two seasons, completed by a $47.3MM player option for the 2022/23 season.

In his absence, Tomas Satoransky steps in at point guard. Washington traded away a rotation guard, Austin Rivers, in the Trevor Ariza deal with Phoenix.

Southeast Notes: Kidd-Gilchrist, Hornets, Satoransky, Waiters

Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will likely exercise his $13MM player option this summer rather than testing the free agent market, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer opines in his latest mailbag. Kidd-Gilchrist has been moved to a reserve role this season and has an injury history, Bonnell notes. He’s also well-liked in the organization, Bonnell adds. Marvin Williams ($15MM) and Bismack Biyombo ($17MM) also have player options this summer.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets have an open roster spot but Bonnell says there’s no rush to fill it. GM Mitch Kupchak likes the flexibility of having 14 players on the regular roster and it hasn’t been an issue from an injury standpoint through the first 30 games, Bonnell continues.  The opportunity to make a two-for-one deal means they probably won’t fill that spot with a free agent in the coming weeks, Bonnell adds.
  • The trade with the Suns for forward Trevor Ariza forced Tomas Satoransky out of the lineup but he now has a more defined role with the Wizards, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington points out. Satoransky has become the team’s primary backup guard, guaranteeing him steady minutes. Satoransky played 48 minutes in a triple-overtime thriller against Phoenix on Saturday and 20 minutes in a loss to Indiana on Sunday. The Wizards traded Kelly Oubre and Austin Rivers for Ariza. “I think definitely it changes the dynamic of the game,” Satoransky told Hughes. “Those two were our first scorers off the bench, so now we have to adjust. Obviously, there is some bigger responsibility that I will have.”
  • Heat guard Dion Waiters has returned to practice but his surgically-repaired left ankle still causes him discomfort, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. Waiters, who is signed through the 2020/21 campaign, hasn’t played this season but says he’s ready for action, though the ankle still feels “funny” at times. “Probably a couple of weeks, probably a couple of months,” he said of when he’d be 100%. “It’s how your body adjusts to it. As long as I continue to get treatment every day, take care of my body, and make sure I’m doing the little things, I feel like it’d be OK.”

Wizards Notes: Wall, Satoransky, Morris

The Wizards overcame a 24-point deficit against the Clippers on Tuesday night to avoid entering Thanksgiving on a low note. Despite the impressive comeback win though, Washington is still just 6-11, and the fact that the club fell into a 24-point hole to begin with is a reason for concern, as Bradley Beal said after the game, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN.com.

“That’s why everything is not fixed,” Beal said. “At the end of the day we can’t be naive and say we won after being down 20. We were getting our asses kicked. We have to take a step back and realize we still have a lot of things to fix. We won tonight, but we have to keep it going and know that if we get down to Toronto [on Friday night], the same result might not happen.”

It’s been an eventful week for the Wizards, who had a contentious practice last Thursday and will reportedly listen to trade inquires on just about anyone. We relayed several more Wizards updates on Tuesday, writing that the Hornets have inquired on Beal, John Wall wants to finish his career in D.C., and the Wizards are trying to move on from various distractions.

We’ve got more news out of Washington to pass along today, so let’s dive in…

  • Within Bontemps’ article (linked above), he notes that several executives told him on Tuesday that finding a trade partner for Wall would be “difficult at best.” One exec was more blunt: “If they can get anything for Wall and don’t do it, they are idiots.”
  • With Wall’s value being questioned, head coach Scott Brooks vehemently defended his star point guard after Tuesday’s game, per Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. “John, he’s been taking hits. Let’s face it,” Brooks said. “You hear all the reports that he’s heavy. The guy has 7% body fat… He’s in great shape. I like the way he plays. He plays hard.”
  • Brooks intends to find more minutes for backup guard Tomas Satoransky, who played a key role in the Wizards’ comeback on Tuesday, according to Hughes. A restricted free agent at season’s end, Satoransky has been one of the club’s most effective bench players over the last couple seasons.
  • Responding to reports that detailed the heated comments made during last Thursday’s Wizards practice, Markieff Morris expressed his distaste for the leaks coming from within the organization, as Hughes writes in another article for NBC Sports Washington. “It’s f***ed up what’s going on,” Morris said. “The comments that’s coming from the locker room, that’s f***ed up.”
  • In a column for Sports Illustrated, Chris Mannix explores what the Wizards need to do to fix their issues, and whether longtime GM Ernie Grunfeld can be trusted to make those moves.