Jun 26, 2014; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Nik Stauskas (Michigan) shakes hands with NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the number eight overall pick to the Sacramento Kings in the 2014 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Sacramento Kings: Why Nik Stauskas Was The Wrong Pick


It was a scene similar to many in the NBA Draft Thursday night in Brooklyn: A team spending a first-round pick on a player who fills the same needs as a player that team selected a year ago.

The Sacramento Kings were one of those teams, selecting Michigan shooting guard Nik Stauskas with the No. 8 overall just 12 months after taking Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore with the seventh overall choice.

Don’t misunderstand: Stauskas is a heckuva a shooter, a kid who knocked down 44 percent of his 3-point attempts in two years at the University of Michigan.

He emerged as a lottery pick as a sophomore, stepping up to take the scoring void that was left when Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. left Ann Arbor to go to the NBA in 2013.

Stauskas averaged 17.5 points, 3.3 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 35.6 minutes per game, shooting a slash line of .470/.442/.824.

He was a consensus All-American and led the Wolverines back to the Elite Eight, where they lost a tough 75-72 decision to Kentucky a season after falling in the national championship game.

Stauskas is the wrong pick for the Kings, though, just because he’s redundant.

Coach Michael Malone told Cowbell Kingdom that it’s not necessarily an indictment of McLemore’s game that the Kings took Stauskas and sees no reason why the two can’t play together.

“I think people automatically assume we take Nik Stauskas, that means we don’t appreciate or love Ben and that’s not the case,” Malone said. “Ben McLemore has had an unbelievable summer so far. He’s worked very, very hard. He’s gotten better and I know he’s anxious to show that in summer league in Vegas in a couple weeks, but both of those guys can play together.”

Considering that McLemore posted the lowest player efficiency rating (7.7—the average is 15) in the NBA among players with at least 50 games and 25 minutes per game, getting better would seem to be at the very least a place to start.

Yes, Stauskas showed some ability to create off the dribble. But that doesn’t make him a point guard. With options 1a and 1b for the Kings already in place with DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay, having two shooting guards trying to play together makes zero sense on the surface.

Despite what Malone says, I think the selection of Stauskas has to be a precursor to some sort of additional move, and if that is the case, then it makes the pick a lot more defensible.

For instance, if McLemore were to be part of a package for a point guard (I’ve heard tell that some guy in Boston might be available), then Stauskas works because he has a spot to play.

The Kings went into the draft with three needs—point guard, rim protection and defensive help. Stauskas doesn’t address any of those needs.

That’s why as of right now, Nik Stauskas was the wrong pick.

Tags: 2014 Nba Draft Ben McLemore Nik Stauskas Sacramento Kings

  • John hooks

    Title should be.Why your mom and dad was a wrong combination to have a retard like you.

    • Phil Watson

      Great point, and well spoken too.

  • ACG

    Just like the Rudy Gay trade wasn’t good & neither was giving Cousins that contract.. You should know by now that this ownership group knows what they are doing.. & Enough about Rondo, it’s played out

    • Phil Watson

      It can be pretty baffling trying to figure out what they’re doing in that front office. Moves that just seem to contradict each other.

  • DG

    I agree with ACG. Many of us amateurs want to bag on this pick as though it was the stupidest thing to do. But the current big three – Cuz, Rudy, Thomas – were .500 when playing together and healthy. Ben will be better. Mac will be better. Add Stauskis and we’ve got a well rounded, young, prolific scoring back court. So stop thinking pipe dreams with Rondo (who’s a pre Madonna that has never proved much absent the Truth and KG). The real question is how the FO can make some moves to cut the stink at the steaming turd we call PF. A move to find a decent defensive minded PF, keeping just one of the current guys (JT, DWill, Evans or Landry – take your pick since they’d be a bencher) and one more year with Malone’s defensive minded push to improvement, and we’ve got a perennial playoff team. Advancing past just making playoffs is then on Cousin’s back as the franchise superstar. The late Maya Angelou famously said, “people will forget what you did, and they will forget what you said. But they will never forget how you make them feel.” And right now the Kings leadership are making me feel good about the future! #ForeverPurple

  • Napoleon Gifford

    I agree with Phil. If SG was a position that needed to be upgraded, why didn’t we just trade for Affalo? All Orlando gave up was a 2nd Round Pick and a Euro player who may never come to the NBA. PF is a position of NEED for real. We have to upgrade there.