If you thought Aaron Gordon to the Magic at four was baffling, I now present to you the Sacramento Kings’ eighth overall pick, Nik Stauskas. Just 12 months after selecting Ben McLemore with the seventh overall pick, the Kings went ahead and picked another shooting guard in the sophomore from Michigan. Are they Kings done with McLemore after one season? Is there a trade in the works? Who knows what this baffling franchise is up to, but one thing’s for sure, it’s going to be hard for Stauskas to be a fantasy relevant player in his rookie season.
McLemore did struggle in his rookie season, but in the season’s last five games, he looked to have worked it out a little bit, averaging 18.2 points, 2.0 three-pointers and 3.6 rebounds, well above his season averages. Given the Kings’ mess at power forward and Noah Vonleh falling into their laps, it seemed a foregone conclusion that the Indiana forward would be able to take over the starting four gig. But the Kings brass decided that Stauskas was their man and here we are, with a mess at the shooting guard spot.
Widely regarded as the best shooter in the draft, Stauskas was looming as a fantasy sleeper in the Tim Hardaway Jr. mold depending on where he landed. Being picked by Sacramento, was probably one of the worst options for his fantasy value. Stauskas has been compared with J.J. Redick, Danny Green and Jason Kapono from an NBA perspective and those guys are or have been decent fantasy options.
Stauskas played two seasons at Michigan. Below I’ve listed the stats from his sophomore season.
As you can see, he is a scorer, a great three-point shooter and efficient free throw shooter. He’s never going to be a top 30 talent, but he could easily have been a consistent top 80 player. Going to the Kings will hamper that for now. If you assume that McLemore and Stauskas will split minutes at the two, then the most you could hope for would be 24 minutes. Throw in the return of Jason Terry and around 18-19 minutes is probably his ceiling. And that’s not the court time that you’ll need to have fantasy relevance in any league bar a 20 teamer.
Here’s my projection for Stauskas based on around 18 minutes a night, playing as McLemore’s backup, which would leave him ranked about 270.
I’d be avoiding Stauskas this season and to be honest, even in dynasty leagues unless the Kings make a move. It’s a shame, because it seems like this franchise is going to be stuck in the lottery for years to come.