The Sacramento Kings, looking to upgrade their shooting, go for a shooting guard for the second year in a row, selecting Nik Stauskas from the University of Michigan with the 8th overall pick.
Stauskas is a tremendous shooter, hitting 44% from beyond the arc this season. But he’s so much more than just a three point marksman. Stauskas is capable of scoring from all over the floor, and has a very good handle that allows him to peruse the floor without being a walking turnover. Further, Stauskas is also able to play a little point, or at least serve as a primary ballhandler in certain stints and sets, as he has good vision and passing ability. Stauskas needs to get stronger to help him better finish at the rim against NBA-caliber defenders and shot blockers. Regardless, he’ll at least be able to contribute immediately in the area for which the Kings drafted him.
Defensively, there are issues. While Stauskas is a better athlete than most give him credit for, he still struggles to defend those at his position. And this was at the college level. Just as he needs to add strength to help him drive, that added strength will go a long ways in helping him defend the ones and twos in the NBA. Already, the Kings are a less than stellar defensive team, and Stauskas won’t help them in that area. He won’t be a complete liability — at least he shouldn’t be — but Malone won’t be deploying him as a defensive stopper.
This was a good pick from the Kings, and don’t mistake it as a referendum on last year’s Ben McLemore pick. Whether it’s Stauskas off the bench and McLemore starting or vice versa, the Kings have more firepower and versatility than they had last year.