2014 NBA Draft: Nik Stauskas Has Gordon Hayward-Type Potential

By Cody Williams
Nik Stauskas
Bob Donnan – USA Today Sports Images

The majority of the conversation concerning the 2014 NBA Draft concerns the guys that will be going at the top of the lottery. However, once you get out of the first seven or eight picks, this draft is also deep with guys that have the potential to be above-average role players at the NBA level.

One area in particular that this draft is rich in is in regards to the wing positions. Be it small forwards or shooting guards, the 2014 draft is going to offer both teams in and out of the lottery to address needs of playmaking, shooting, or defense on the wings with a bevy of talent and wide range of skill-sets on the table.

You could make a case, though, that Nik Stauskas out of Michigan has the widest range of possible outcomes when it comes to his prospects in the Association. However, if everything goes as planned and he can continue to grow as a player, some scouts believe he has the potential to be similar to an already productive young wing in the league: Gordon Hayward.

The similarities between Stauskas and Hayward first arise from the fact that both are great shooters from long-range. Stauskas shot over 44 percent from the floor this past season for the Wolverines while Hayward has shown solid proficiency and efficiency in the NBA after college.

However, one of the similarities that also doubles as one of the things that is sometimes overlooked about Stauskas’ game is the fact that he is going to be able to create his own shot off of the dribble and not just be a spot-up shooter at the pro-level. Hayward has started to make a name for himself in that way in the NBA and Stauskas has shown that he too could do that in the Association.

There are obvious concerns about Stauskas as a pro prospect. His defense may not be ready to handle the NBA-caliber athletes at his position and his athleticism itself isn’t great as well. However, when you look at the upside, it’s not hard to imagine Stauskas being taken late in the lottery and whichever team that takes him not regretting that decision at all.

Cody Williams is a Senior Writer with Rant Sports. Follow Cody on Twitter @TheSizzle20, add him on Google and like his Facebook page.

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