WASHINGTON -- After his first shootaround since signing back with the Wizards, Tomas Satoransky remarked how the team had made some renovations to their practice facility in Southeast Washington during his three years away from the organization. They also have a different coaching staff and a roster that has undergone several major overhauls.
Still, there was a sense of familiarity for Satoransky, who now at the age of 30 has rejoined the team he began his career with as a second-round pick. He has returned to Washington, fresh off a buyout from the Spurs, hoping to finish the season much stronger than it began.
"It feels like home and it’s always easier to go somewhere you like," Satoransky said of D.C. and the Wizards.
It was an uncomfortable few months leading up to the reunion, Satoransky says. He was traded last summer by the Bulls to the Pelicans, but did not get to properly train ahead of the season starting due to an injury to his flexor muscle which he suffered while playing for the Czech Republic in the Olympics.
Satoransky played 32 games for New Orleans then just one for the Spurs before the buyout. In 33 total games this season, he is averaging 2.8 points while shooting a career-low 29.9% from the field.
"It was the first time I really struggled like that in the NBA, but it happens sometimes. It’s a tough league and you have to be mentally resilient," he said.
The one game Satoransky played for the Spurs came against the Wizards and it lasted two overtimes. Satoransky had a sense the deal was coming together, so he didn't fly out of town with his team. He stayed in Washington, where a deal was agreed upon the following day.
Now Satoransky is set to be integrated into a point guard rotation that includes Raul Neto and Ish Smith. At 6-foot-7, he can also contribute at other positions and is excited to get started working with head coach Wes Unseld Jr. The two spoke at length over the phone before Satoransky after the deal became official.
"I like the game the Wizards play this year, I already told them at the beginning of the year when we were playing against them, that I love the game they play. Very unselfish group of guys, an international group of guys that know how to play. They play hard. I felt like I could help in that sense," Satoransky said.
Satoransky spoke highly of Deni Avdija and Rui Hachimura, two of the Wizards' most recent first round picks. He is also very familiar with Kristaps Porzingis, who was his teammate in Spain before they were drafted to the NBA. Porzingis remains out with a bone bruise in his right knee, but Satoransky is looking forward to sharing the court with him once again.
"I was also excited that Kristaps is on the team because Kristaps is my good friend from the past. I played with him for three years, 10-11 years ago. Imagine that, it’s really crazy. I always wished that I could play with him again. This chance is pretty awesome to have," Satoransky said.
Satoransky should be available to make his season debut for the Wizards on Tuesday night when the host the Detroit Pistons. Three years have passed, but once again No. 31 will be back playing for the home team at Capital One Arena.