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NBA Draft profile: Tomas Satoransky

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NBA Draft profile: Tomas Satoransky

Later this month the Washington Wizards will take part in the 2012 NBA draft. Currently the owner of picks 3, 32 and 46, the franchise could go in almost any direction with those selections. The prevailing belief is upgrading the team's perimeter weapons and small forwardwing guard depth is a must this offseason, but few would knock more interior help even with the intriguing core of Nene and kids.

Between now and the draft, were going to identify some of the players the Wizards might target in both the first and second round. Up next, in light of thereport he's staying in the draft, Tomas Satoransky.

Check below for a running of list of all our draft profiles. More to come before the June 28 draft in Newark.Tomas Satoransky
Czech RepublicDraft Express overall ranking: No. 42HeightWeight: 6-7, 201 lbsThe player: First off, let's get this out of the way - I have not seen the young man play, live anyway.For now, You Tube clipsand reports on the athletic combo guard with a passing mentality - and early second-round projection - will have to suffice. Though just 20 years of age, Satoransky has already experienced plenty in the world of professional basketball (I'm not really counting his workout with the Wizards last week, though he might disagree). He spent the past three seasons playing for Sevilla in the Spanish ACB and has received some run on the Czech National team. Averaged 4.8 points in 17 minutes per game last season, but stats are rarely the true measure for overseas players.Outside of France's Evan Fournier - the only international player consistently projected into the first round -, Satoransky is looking more and more like the best of the rest.
The fit: If we're talking 2012-13, that means more size for a backcourt that's hardly among the league's tallest. If we're talking position, he could receive minutes behind both John Wall and Jordan Crawford. If we're talking on-court sensabilities, the Wizards played with more of a caring is sharing mentality late in the season and Satoransky's passing vision would further enhance the situation. If we're talking basic athleticism. hesports a 7'-7" wingspan and the kind of vertical hops one needs to win various international versions of the NBA Dunk contestthree times over. If we're talking about the long haul, he could be an idealdraft-and-stash overseas option for another year of seasoning away from the itnense NBA glare. The issue: Obviously with a second-round selection you can afford a bit more risk. Then again, maybe it makes more sense to grab some college kid ready to contribute over another international project, err, prospect. As for on the court, beyond your basic "he lacks experience and must get stronger" mantra, his jumper needs work. That hardly makes him unique with the Wizards situation, but his addition does not immediatelyaddress the team's primary need. Should the Wizards take Thomas Robinson or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in the first round, they should target a shooter early in the second.The analysis (from Draft Express latest report posted earlier this year): "Satoransky has tremendous size for either guard position, even if his 6-7 wingspan and 207 pound frame are just average. He's a solid athlete, capable of playing above the rim, but not showing tremendous quickness in the half-court or the type of blow-by speed you expect to see from a player at his position in the NBA. Once appearing rail thin when we first saw him all the way back in the summer of 2008, he's done a nice job developing his body over the last few years, and will likely continue to fill out considering he's still only 20 years old."The summation: I'm a sucker for a tall and rangy prospect who have a strong handle and use their height to exploit open passing lanes.Therefore, on the surface Satoransky works for me. With his potential at either guard slot, he could be an ideal sixth-man type. In time, that is. Considering the Wizards have two second-round picks - in addition to the early first and enough cap space to be a factor in free agency- , it would hardly surprise if they took a long-terminternational prospect with one of them. More draft profilesBradley BealMichael Kidd-GilchristDarius MillerFestus EzeliJeremy LambAndre DrummondThomas RobinsonHarrison BarnesBen Standig blogs about the Redskins, Wizards, Hoyas and the D.C.area college basketball scene for CSNwashington. You can reach him by email at bstandig@comcast.net, follow him on Twitter @BenStandig and catch his musings at the D.C. Sportalist.

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Sashi Brown on his role, team culture and how he can sell the Wizards to free agents

Sashi Brown on his role, team culture and how he can sell the Wizards to free agents

CAPITAL ONE ARENA -- The Wizards have bucked convention by hiring Sashi Brown as their chief operations and planning officer, as he comes from outside the basketball world. He has served as top executive but in the NFL, not in the NBA. 

Brown and Wizards managing partner Ted Leonsis, though, believe there are plenty of skills that will translate. After all, there are many commonalities in running the front office of professional sports teams.

They are constructed similarly with executives, scouts, and medical staffs. And the same principles apply to contract negotiations and pitching free agents. 

Brown admits it will take some time for him to acclimate to working in a new league, but is confident his experience as a sports executive, in business and as a lawyer will help the Wizards right away.

"There is far more that will transfer than I think people would imagine," he told NBC Sports Washington. 

"When you have sat in that seat as a GM, the job is so big. These are now billion-dollar enterprises. We've got a lot of things that we want to accomplish and you really just can't have enough talent. That's what it feels like a lot of days. From technology to strategy to contract and negotiation and league initiatives, but also just operational support; things that we would like to get done day-to-day to be world-class."

What could take time is Brown's impact on basketball insight. He was known as a forward-thinking NFL executive when it came to analytics. But advanced stats and their utilization are very different in basketball.

Brown said during his introductory press conference on Monday that basketball decisions will ultimately be made by Tommy Sheppard, the team's new general manager. Brown's role will be making those decisions more comprehensive and informed by organizing and developing the team's resources. 

Between Brown and Sheppard, no one is working for the other. Their boss is Leonsis and they are expected to work in tandem.

"They can focus on the team and the players and winning titles," Brown said of Sheppard and those running the Go-Go, Mystics and District Gaming.

"We're going to be a team. Tommy talked about being a team of teams. Ted would like that as a vision from the top down."

Over time, there will surely be some pain points. Everyone has their own philosophies. There will be disagreements.

But disagreements can be productive. The Wizards feel they need new, outside voices and Brown's fresh perspective will be very valuable to resetting their direction and culture.

Brown knows what that process is like, having started from the bottom with the NFL's Cleveland Browns three years ago. He laid a foundation there as GM that has helped lead to a bright future for one of the NFL's most moribund teams.

Culture is a nebulous concept in sports. It is hard to define. The Wizards just know theirs needs an adjustment.

Brown, for one, believes good culture leads to winning and not the other way around.

"I think that if you're relying on winning to develop your culture you probably don't have a very good culture," he said. "It really has to be the driver for winning. That's what we're going to do. We've got guys that are experienced and passionate that will hold the entire organization accountable."

Brown, 43, has little basketball experience to draw from as he joins the Wizards. He played the sport as a kid growing up. His best claim-to-fame in basketball is that his grandfather coached at Kentucky State University.

"It's been in my family for years. It's in my blood," he said.

What Brown does have a firm grasp of is what professional teams need in order to win. One is a cohesive message when pitching a free agent on signing with them.

Brown will part of that process for the Wizards. He is Harvard-educated and charismatic, the type of person you would want on your side in the negotiating room. And he has a plan to make the Wizards a more attractive destination.

"I think [players] want a commitment. I think they want a chance to win championships. We've seen that in abundance over the last two or three offseasons. The league is transforming itself and continues to evolve. We want to be at the forefront of that," he said.

"Our facilities are top-notch and we'll do everything to keep them there. Our people, our doctors and our medical care for players is great. Our coaching is going to be top-notch and championship-caliber. We want to be comprehensive in terms of what we offer all of our athletes."

Brown is smart, engaging and smooth. It is easy to see why Leonsis is enamored with his potential. Now Brown just has to prove him right.

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Zion Williamson joins Rui Hachimura by signing with the Jordan brand

Zion Williamson joins Rui Hachimura by signing with the Jordan brand

 Rui Hachimura and Zion Williamson, two of the most high-profile NBA rookies from the 2019 NBA Draft class, have joined forces on a new team, Jordan Brand. 

The New Orleans Pelicans' new star and No. 1 overall draft pick announced Tuesday afternoon that he'll be signing with Jumpman on a multi-year deal; the details of the deal have yet to be revealed. 

This decision comes about a month after Hachimura became the first Japanese-born player to sign with the brand

Both players have entered the NBA with an incredible amount of fanfare and hype surrounding their transitions to the Association. Hachimura was the star attraction for 61 media members from 21 different outlets in Japan during the NBA Summer League, while Zion's American media presence, understandably, was also substantial.

When Hachimura signed in June it was a dream come true for him and his family. Williamson shared similar sentiments when outlining why he decided to join the Jordan Brand team:

“I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of the Jordan Brand family," Williamson told Nike News. "Since I was a kid, I dreamed of making it to the league and having the type of impact on the game Michael Jordan had and continues to have today. He was one of those special athletes I looked up to, and I really can’t express how happy and excited I am for this journey.”

Since their thrilling faceoff in college, when Gonzaga edged an 89-87 victory over the Blue Devils thanks to Hachimura's 20 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 blocks, the two talents have experienced a similar, yet unique, tip-off to their careers.

It's said that if you look good you play good, and it seems both Hachimura and Williamson have that first part figured out.  

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