Mar 4, 2014; Champaign, IL, USA; Michigan Wolverines guard Nik Stauskas (11) makes one of his seven three pointers against the Illinois Fighting Illini during the second half at State Farm Center. Michigan defeated Illinois 84-53. Mandatory Credit: Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Draft Profile: Nik Stauskas

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With the NBA Draft Lottery behind us, we shift our focus directly to the June 26th NBA Draft. Over the next month we’ll look at some of the top prospects in the draft, along with players that the Magic either reportedly worked out, or interviewed at the NBA Draft Combine. Michigan sharp shooter Nik Stauskas is next. 

After two years of being an intricate part of the Michigan Wolverines success, sharp shooting guard Nik Stauskas is on his way to the NBA. Stauskas, the number 76 recruit in ESPN’s Top-100 in 2012, took the Big 10 by storm thanks to his smooth shooting. After two successful years in the Maize and Blue, Stauskas and his shooting stroke will look to take the NBA by storm. 

Points  

Assist %  

Usage %  

3PT FG%  

TS %

2012-13   

11.0

7.6

17.3

44.0

63.4

2013-14

17.5

18.8

24.4

44.2

64.2

Stauskas was very impressive his two years at Michigan. He was able to score at a good rate, while doing so highly efficiently. His 64.2 true shooting percentage is the second highest of all players in DraftExpress’ Top-100, trailing on Kansas’ Joel Embiid, who, if healthy, will most likely be the top pick from June 26th. 

Measurables 

Height w/shoes  

Weight  

Wingspan  

Standing Reach  

Max Vert

6’ 6.5”

207

6’ 7.75”

8’ 6”

35.5

Strengths 

  • Shooting 

This kid can shoot. He’s got one of the best strokes of all players in the draft, and can knock it down multiple ways. On catch and shoot jumpers, Stauskas averaged 1.51 points per possession, thanks in large part to his smooth release and solid mechanics. Stauskas was also strong shooting the ball off the dribble, racking up .9 points per possession in those situations. He also did this in his backyard once. 

  • Basketball IQ 

Stauskas has one of the best basketball IQ’s in this draft, and an excellent feel for the game. Always making the right play, Stauskas’ efficiency not only shooting, but handling the ball make him very interesting going to the next level. He’s an extremely unselfish passer, and always makes the right play, which helped him rack up a 2.6 assist to turnover ratio this season. Stauskas’ efficiency scoring is not only shown in his high true shooting percentage, but also his 1.19 overall points per possessions, which is first amongst prospects with 200 or more possessions, per DraftExpress. 

Weaknesses 

  • Athleticism 

Despite being such a great shooter, Stuaskas’ athleticism raises quite a few questions. He doesn’t have great length, at all, and his frame is still relatively frail. Of all shooting guards who attended the NBA Draft Combine, Stauskas ranked 11th of 15 in wingspan, despite being the second tallest. Stauskas also has poor laterally quickness, which will hurt him on both ends, especially defensively, at the next level. 

  • Defense 

Thanks in large part to his not so great physical tools, Stauskas doesn’t have a ton of upside defensively. Lacking strength, Stauskas could get taken advantage of, especially early in his career, by some of the bigger, strong shooting guards the league has to offer. He was never highly active defensively either, averaging just .6 steals each of his two years in Ann Arbor. He’s got a lot of work to do to hope to become serviceable on this end of the floor, but it’s possible with the right coaching and scheme that he can. 

Conclusion 

As good as they come shooting the ball, Stuaskas has a questions surrounding the rest of his game. His strong shooting and ability to handle the ball will help make up for his lack of upside on the defensive end, but it’s still going to be a glaring issue for whoever drafts him. His shooting though is something that might be hard for many teams to pass up, especially with the growing importance of the three-pointer in the NBA. 

For the Magic, Stauskas could very much be in play with the 12th pick. The Magic, who ranked in the bottom half of the league in three-point shooting last season, could use a shooting option off the bench, and Stauskas could fill that role admirably. However, there are a few teams in front of the Magic who could use Stauskas as well — Charlotte, Philadelphia and Denver — so the Magic may need to trade up if they want to get the Michigan sharpshooter. 

 

 

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