From ESPN.com

In Defense of Kings Picking Nik Stauskus


With the 8th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Sacramento Kings select…

Nik Stauskus. At Michigan he was one of the most well-rounded offensive players in the nation, averaging 17.5 ppg and winning Big Ten player of the year honors this past season. Stauskas shot 44 percent from 3-point range in his two college years and greatly improved his ball handling and defensive skills his sophomore season.

However, this selection seemed to upset an abnormally high amount Kings fans Thursday night. I’ll respond to the three main talking points I’ve seen from disgruntled (for now) Sacramento fans on social media on why they’re angry about the Stauskus pick:

“…Because we drafted a shooting guard last year in Ben McLemore!”

Yes, the Kings did select Ben McLemore with the 7th overall pick in 2013. However, unless expected to play 48 minutes per game, someone needs to come off the bench to spell BMac. Possibly, BMac could even come off the bench to spot Stauskus! Or they play together backcourt at the same time! Sacramento drafting Stauskus does not take anything away from McLemore, rather it could actually compliment his game by giving him another shooter to work with. In no way am I comparing Stauskus to these players, but could he be Sacramento’s “Ginobli” or “Crawford”?

 

“…Because Noah Vonleh and Elfrid Payton were still on the board at 8!”

The Kings already have a gluttony of power forwards. Drafting yet another 4 (let alone one as raw and underdeveloped as Vonleh) would just add logjam at the position, with the team clearly having issues in dealing Jason Thompson and his undesirable contract as well. As for Payton, while I am a big fan of his, would he really have made the Kings any better his rookie year?

 

“…Because he’s just like Jimmer Fredette whom the Kings waived last February!”

This comparison is simply made due to Jimmer and Nik having the same skin color. Stauskus is more athletic, a better passer, better slasher, and a better defender than Jimmer was when he came out of college. Additionally, Stauskus has NBA size at 6′ 6″ and was drafted for different reasons than Jimmer was (Maloofs simply wanted to cash in on Jimmermania without regard to team fit).

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The bottom line is the Sacramento Kings need TALENT above all else at this stage of the D’Alessandro rebuild. The team finished 27th in 3-point shooting last year, and Nik Stauskus was the best shooter available. How good of a pro will Stauskus be? Only time will tell, but I believe D’Alessandro “nailed it” with this pick.

Tags: Nik Stauskus Sacramento Kings

  • Blake

    Thank you for addressing the jimmer thing. So ridiculous.

  • Ed

    I love the pick! Once A Gordon was gone (taken by Orlando), I wanted the Kings to grab Nik Stauskus or McBuckets. I like the upside of Nik more because he has a chip on his shoulder and size. Also, he is far better than Jimmer who was undersized and less of an athlete than him. With Nik and Ben (hopefully, Ben will improve his shot selection and overall basketball IQ), now they can open the lanes for Demarcus and Rudy to the hole. Great pick given the slot they had!!!

  • Napoleon

    We still need to upgrade the PF position. Let’s get Al Horford

  • Keith E. Hollingshed

    Stauskus is a beast…even if he has a disappointing rookie year, I promise you he will come back 20 times better the following season. What made me love him so much was the chip on his shoulder he carried at Michigan. He played horrible in the final four his freshman year, he vowed to come back better and what did he do, led Michigan to the Elite 8 and won big ten player of the year. He is more polished of a player than most the players that have come out in the last 8 drafts, you are going to love him because of his skill set and his desire to fix his problems. One more nugget, when Stauskus was lighting up the big ten early in the year coaches decided to guard him with smaller players, it was successful for a few games. Coach Beilien and the staff told Nik what to start doing to get around that issue and teams started paying for doing that the rest of the season. He is a listener and a person that applies what he has learned, you want those kind of people on your team. He is going to be cornerstone to your franchise…GO BLUE!!!