Despite Slow Start, Stauskas Deserves Patience


There comes a time every few years when an NBA prospect will enter the league and be efficient from the start. Some of these prospects have been Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving, and Damian Lillard who have had great rookie seasons and everyone knew that success was inevitable in their future.

Because of the small handful of players that have succeeded straight out of the gate, it can sometimes create a false perspective for fans that every top rookie prospect in their draft class should be an immediate impact for their team, when in reality a lot of these players are not polished enough yet for the NBA.

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Is taking a step back in 2023-24 inevitable for the Sacramento Kings?
Is taking a step back in 2023-24 inevitable for the Sacramento Kings? /

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  • This year’s 2014 Draft has seriously been overhyped, and no one in particular has stood out to win the Rookie of the Year Award. One player that has not had an easy transition from college to the NBA in this class is Kings shooting guard Nik Stauskas, who has struggled through the first 24 games of his NBA career.

    There isn’t any way to sugar coat Stauskas season, so far it’s been frustrating. Stauskas has been atrocious on the defensive side where opponents have been able to score at will against the ex- Wolverine, as a result earning him a defensive rating of 113.3. His offensive game hasn’t been pretty either. Right now Stauskas offensive rating is 97.8, where he is shooting .330 from the floor and .241 from beyond the arc.

    Based on the scouting reports and analysis relating to Stauskas, it’s no surprise that Stauskas would be sluggish defensively to start his career, but the Kings did not expect his offense to be so stagnant. In his sophomore year at Michigan, Stauskas was shooting .470 overall on the court and .442 for three while averaging 17.2 points per game. Stauskas has also released his potential talents on the web as well, showcasing his abilities to shoot, handle the ball, and even dunk at a high level through videos.

    Stauskas season has been disappointing and Kings fans are not happy with the results that the newly acquired two guard has brought. Although his struggles have continued and have not shown to leave anytime soon, it’s important to keep patience with the rookie.

    Stauskas has the potential to be an all-around player, he has the talent, he has the athleticism, and most importantly has the work ethic to make an impact in this league, it just takes time to adjust to the speed and size of the NBA. One person that can understand what Nik is going through is his teammate and second-year two guard Ben McLemore.

    Although the stats vary from each other’s rookies seasons, the level of production was similar between the two. In his first NBA season, McLemore was terrible, struggling on both offense and defense. As a result, McLemore was heavily criticized by the media and fans for his inefficiencies on the court, but now having one season under his belt McLemore was able to adjust to the speed of the game.

    So far McLemore has dramatically improved on both his offense and defense, proving naysayers wrong before this season that he didn’t deserves to be a starting two guard in the NBA. The struggles that both Stauskas and McLemore had in their rookie seasons are pretty similar. Just like McLemore, Stauskas deserves the same level of patience as McLemore did in his rookie year.

    In recent years NBA fans have had a high level of expectation for top prospects when they enter the league, but the transition from college to pros can be a difficult adjustment. If Kings fans want to see Stauskas pan out, it’s going to take time.

    Stauskas isn’t polished enough to become an instant contributor yet, but there have been flashes of Stauskas this season which makes you think he can be a very good player, you don’t just give up on players of his talent especially at 21-years old. Stauskas potential is exactly what the Kings need, an athletic sharpshooter that can also create plays for others. For the Kings vision of Stauskas to become reality, they must stay faithful to him.