Nik Stauskas selected by Kings with No. 8 pick in NBA draft
The Kings selected Nik Stauskas with the No. 8 pick in the NBA draft on Thursday. Here’s a look at Stauskas and how he fits with Sacramento:
Bio: Michigan | Sophomore | Shooting guard
Vitals: 6-6, 207 pounds
2013-14 stats: 17.5 points, 3.3 assists, 2.9 rebounds, 47.0 FG%, 44.2 3FG%
Strengths: In a league where teams increasingly value three-point shooting, Stauskas has emerged as a coveted prospect after two seasons at Michigan in which he shot 44 percent from beyond the arc. Stauskas -- who put on a ridiculous backyard-shooting display (70 for 76 on threes) -- has a quick release and smooth stroke. He is particularly lethal when spotting up, scoring 1.34 points per possession on such play types last season, according to Synergy Sports. The biggest reason Stauskas’ stock has risen over the past year is he’s shown he can be more than just a shooter. Stauskas adeptly handled defensive pressure and proved to be a capable off-the-dribble shooter.
Weaknesses: While Stauskas added muscle after his freshman season and demonstrated he can be more than a shooting specialist, questions remain about whether he can beat athletic defenders off the dribble. Stauskas’ defense is another concern. He lacks the lateral quickness to keep ball handlers in front of him and can be slow to close out on shooters. Stauskas also contributed only sparingly on the glass last season.
Team Fit: The Kings have been looking to compete for a playoff spot for years, and Stauskas brings with him one elite NBA skill from the jump: his three-point stroke. The Michigan sharpshooter will be able to spread the floor immediately for DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay and brings Sacramento one step closer to their goal. With the Kings also part of constant trade rumors, Stauskas gives them a possible trade chip and also gives them flexibility with last year’s selection, Ben McLemore, who’s been linked to rumored deals for another star.
If Stauskas and McLemore stay, both are good enough ball handlers to fit in the backcourt together, if needed, and Stauskas has been pitching himself as a point guard if need be. The duo combines with Isaiah Thomas in a young but gifted Sacramento backcourt that could make things interesting in the west down the line. Fun fact: Stauskas grew up a fan of former Kings point guard Jason Williams.