Name: Nik Stauskas Age: 20 School: Michigan
Height: 6’6 Weight: 205 Projected Position: SG
17.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 3.3 apg, 0.6 spg, 1.9 tpg (35.6 minutes per game)
47.0 FG%, 82.4 FT%, 44.2 3FG%
64.2 TS%, 58.6 eFG%, 24.4 USG%, 18.8 AST%
SKILLS & ATHLETIC BREAKDOWN
Stauskas is a very good perimeter shooter, capable of hitting shots off the catch or off the dribble. He has very good form on his jumper, with a high, quick release, good follow-through, and range beyond the NBA three-point line. When he has time to get his feet set, he is a very good spot-shooter, and his size allows him to get good looks over many defenders. He gets square to the basket quickly off the catch, but he needs to work on not rushing his motion if he feels pressured. Stauskas uses screens well to set up his jumper, and he has become quite good at using his dribble more to clear space for his jumper. He has shown the ability to use his crossover to make space, or just a simple dribble or two to either side will give him enough time to get his shot. When looking to shoot off the dribble, he needs to watch a tendency to float in the direction he is moving, especially when he goes to his left. Stauskas can move well without the ball, using screens and cuts to create space. He needs to work on coming off screens tighter, giving him more separation to shoot. His shot selection isn’t bad, though at times he would force some shots.
Stauskas can be effective when he looks to get into the lane and to the basket, and he can do it well going to either side of the floor. He has an average first step, and he uses a combination of long strides and body control to get by defenders. His ability to hit jumpers often forces defenders to guard him tightly which allows him the chance to beat his man. He doesn’t shy away from contact when he is in the lane, and he has shown that if the help is there quickly, he can hit the short jumper or find an open teammate. Stauskas can have trouble getting good shots against long defenders if they don’t foul him, and he can force some shots around the basket. He does a good job keeping his head up and seeing the defense when he gets into the lane, and if the defense helps quickly, Stauskas can find open teammates. He is an average mid-range shooter if he chooses to only take a few steps past his defender, though he could be better if he can fix his tendency to float on his shot off the dribble. Stauskas has become very good at attacking the basket off of screens, making sure to come off the screens tight and keeping his head up to see the floor.
Stauskas showed to be a much better ballhandler than many expected, and he is likely to improve a bit more. He is able to use both hands well, keeps the ball low (most of the time) and close to his body, and does a good job keeping his head up to see the floor. Stauskas has also shown a nice change-of-pace dribble, as well as a crossover, and has been effective going to wither side with them. He does a very good job using his dribble to create enough space for him to get up his jumper, and he uses his crossover especially well when doing this. Stauskas sees the floor well, and at times, became the primary ballhandler for Michigan. He can find teammates well when he draws help defenders off of penetration, though he may still force some passes or be a bit off target. Where Stauskas proved to be effective was as the ballhandler off of high screen situations. His ability to draw defenders opened up the floor for teammates and he was able to find open teammates rolling to the basket or cutting behind the defense. He may still try to force passes which, with some experience, he will learn not to attempt, or find a different way to deliver the ball.
Free Throw Shooting
Stauskas is a good free throw shooter with a consistent routine, fluid shooting motion and follow-through. Even more impressive is the amount of free throws he drew this past year even though more than half his shots were three-point attempts. He went to the line just over 1 time for every 2 field goal attempts, and he did it in a variety of ways. He has such a quick release on his jumper that he can draw contact on the perimeter, but he was also more aggressive in looking to get to the basket this year.
Perimeter Defense (On/Off Ball)
Stauskas is a below-average on-ball defender, though he has the raw talent to improve. He positions himself well between his man and the basket, but his lateral movement is slow, and he usually ends up chasing his man from behind. He needs to work on his stance when defending, and improve on anticipating and reacting to his man’s movements. Stauskas has the length to disrupt passing lanes and close well on shooters, but he needs to work on reacting quicker. Stauskas has to work on how he handles getting through screens, both on and off the ball, especially knowing when to get over screens and when he can give some room. Often, he had to rely on switches to avoid losing men on screens. Off the ball, Stauskas generally positions himself well, though he can find himself drifting too much towards help position. He can be a good help defender, and his length can help in trapping situations, but he often finds himself caught in between the ball and his man without committing, which leaves him ineffective against either. He needs to work on navigating through screens off the ball and work on not letting his man get enough room for a clear shot. His defensive awareness needs to improve, especially being able to see the floor and anticipate.
Stauskas isn’t much of a rebounder on either end of the floor, though he could certainly be better than he is if he worked harder at it. He needs to make sure he looks to box out, and he has to do a better job anticipating where rebounds will go and work for position. On the offensive end, Stauskas’ athleticism can allow him to make plays if someone doesn’t put a body on him, though he spends too much time on the perimeter to really be effective.
Stauskas is very good in transition, either running one of the wings or pushing the ball himself on the break. If running on the wing in transition, Stauskas is capable of spotting up behind the 3-point line or he can take the ball to the basket off the dribble. As the ballhandler on the break, he is capable of pulling up for his jumper off the dribble, and he has shown to be a good decision maker when it comes to feeding his teammates, especially because his shooting ability forces defenders to key on him.
Stauskas built a very good reputation as a freshman shooter on the Michigan team that went to the National Championship. With the loss of Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr. to the NBA, Stauskas stepped up his game more than many would have imagined. Not only did he remain one of the top shooters in the country, but he became a very versatile offensive threat capable of not only scoring, but also running the Michigan offense. He has a strong basketball IQ and he has a knack for finding a way to make plays from most places on the floor. He struggles defensively, though he has the tools to at least become an average defender. Stauskas is very good in transition and his ability to handle the ball opens the floor up for other players.
Draft Value: Late Lottery- Mid 1st– #10-17
With Stauskas showing that he is much more than a three-point shooter on offense this year, there is the real possibility that he can be more than an NBA role player. At worst though, he will provide a very good shooting threat who can make plays off the dribble. He will likely have problems guarding NBA players, but he should improve over time. There are very few teams who at least could use Stauskas as a shooter while allowing him to expand his role slowly.
Leave your comments below, or email me – [email protected]
Follow me on Twitter - @NBADraftBlog