All you need to know about the Sacramento Kings newest addition is that he holds dual citizenship (U.S, Canada), was the Big Ten player of the year in 2013, and has a girlfriend many are comparing to Katherine Webb. While his girlfriend can’t fix the Kings’ struggles, Nik Stauskas certainly can.
Stauskas is just the second Kings’ player drafted eighth overall —Brian Grant was taken eighth in the 1994 draft. Sacramento has had a love affair with shooters dating back a decade, Peja Stojakovic, Francisco Garcia, Dan Dickau and Jimmer Fredette just to name a few.
That list also includes last year’s first-round pick Ben McLemore. Where does that leave McLemore now that Stauskas has arrived? We’ll get to that in a bit, but back to Stauskas. There’s an overwhelming number of analysts and draft experts that agree on what we know, Stauskas can shoot, yet many are not sold on the Kings taking him that high. Then you have a number of critics who argue Stauskas will end up as Jimmer 2.0.
Time will tell on that last one but one thing is crystal clear, the Kings needed a player with a high basketball IQ and they needed someone who could improve on the team’s 27th ranked offense from behind the arc. The Kings got both in Stauskas, and if nothing else, the move gives Sacramento insurance against McLemore’s failure.
That being said Stauskas could very well end up starting ahead of McLemore when the season opens. Which shouldn’t be seen as a failure on McLemore. This is just the second draft for Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro so the bar has not been set. And I doubt the Kings want to give up on McLemore this quickly.
If you compare the numbers between the two young guards they seem to be the same player. McLemore shot 42 percent from 3PT in college while Stauskas shot 44 percent in his freshman season and continued to shoot the ball with confidence in his sophomore season, Jimmer 2.0 he is not.
If you question the Kings’ decision to take Stauskas then I don’t blame you. But with all do respect to Doug McDermott, Stauskas is easily the best sharpshooter of the draft. The Kings coveted someone with range and they got it. Nothing is a sure thing but at least he won’t be Jimmer 2.0, that much I can guarantee.