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).
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.