Prospect Spotlight: Tomas Satoransky puts on a show vs. Khimki Moscow

Sometimes, players can have a huge day without you ever noticing. Kevin Durant is a master of this; with the way he efficiently shoots the ball and helps orchestrate the offense, you can look up and see he has 30 points in the third quarter and not remember how he got there.

Then there are the games where a player has a relatively mundane stat line even though it feels like they went for 50. Things like a Danny Green hot streak, a Tristan Thompson double-double, or a big Rudy Gobert defensive game may not show up as impactfully in the box score, but they’re loud events that you remember long after the game ends.

Barcelona forward Tomas Satoransky had one of the latter performances this weekend in Barca’s 87-70 win over Khimki Moscow. He was Barcelona’s third-leading scorer in the game, and his line of 13 points, four rebounds and four assists was good but not overly impressive. However, almost every Satoransky play was a highlight and he had the strongest performance of any NBA prospect in the Euroleague Round of 16’s second weekend.

Satoransky got started on the first possession of the game, showcasing his court vision and confidence with an excellent dish to Ante Tomic for Barca’s first points:

Satoransky gets the ball on a post-up and hits a nice spin move on the smaller Tyrese Rice to get into the lane. Khimki sends two defenders to help on the play, and Satoransky is swarmed. Most 24-year-old forwards would panic and simply try to draw a foul or throw up a contested shot. But Satoransky realizes the Ante Tomic is wide open, and throws a nice pass over the trees to one of the best finishers in Europe. Satoransky’s strong passing has always been a trait that has drawn NBA scouts to him, and this confidence against a triple-team is a great example why.

Seven minutes later, Satoransky had his second major highlight. Justin Doellman hits Satoransky through a gap in Khimki’s defense, and Satoransky gave us this finish:

Satoransky blows by Sergey Monia, and even with James Augustine in good position to contest, he’s negated by that smooth up-and-under reverse. Seven minutes into the game, and Satoransky has two highlight offensive plays and a steal to go with on the defensive end.

In the second quarter, Satoransky struck again. Already up 18 points, Barcelona got the ball to end the half and Satoransky ended up in a switch with James Augustine, which was a mismatch:

Here we can make a note of Satoransky’s jumper. His struggles from beyond the arc and midrange have stemmed from inconsistent shooting mechanics, which you can see above — his shooting arm bows out, he jumps back on the release and he has a delayed kick-out of his leg as he releases the shot. Satoransky’s outside shooting has been all over the place throughout his career and after a career high 43.8 percent from outside in 2014-15, his 3-point percentage has fallen to 34.1 this season. In the midrange, though, Satoransky has gotten better, and his pull-up jumper is falling more this season, even though his mechanics off the dribble are still iffy.

Defensively, Satoransky showcased why he’s equipped to survive as a shooting guard in the NBA. Satoransky was forced to spend some time guarding Tyrese Rice and Alexey Shved, two excellent dribble-drive guards, and this drive by Rice in the third quarter was basically a summation of how that went for Khimki:

Satoransky has the lateral quickness to challenge quick guards in space, and that’s good news for him in regards for the NBA, where he’s going to likely be shifting down from his positionless status at Barca to a more full time wing position in the NBA. The block here was icing on the cake, but the real takeaway is that Satoransky was able to stay with one of Europe’s quickest offensive guards and make a nice defensive play as Khimki was starting to make a run back into the game.

Satoransky may not be a guy who can get you 25 points in a game, but the impact he had in this blowout was definitely palpable. He’s the type of player who makes you notice when he’s on the floor, and that’s something the Wizards, who drafted him in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft, have lacked on their bench in the John Wall era. And while Satoransky may have just signed a new contract with Barcelona the day after this game that jeopardizes his chances of making a move to the NBA in 2016, performances like this add to the long resume of highlights that show Satoransky will be able to cut it in the NBA if and when he comes over.