One of the more difficult things to do is figuring out what the Sacramento Kings are planning. For the now, for the future. Drafting Nik Stauskas isn’t necessarily bad, but it raises an interesting question about Ben McLemore, and whether or not there’s a plan of trying to use the two of them in the same lineups next season.
McLemore, entering his second season in the NBA, didn’t have the best of rookie campaigns. Slightly disappointing might be the correct word. A 7th overall pick, he averaged 8.8 points while starting on 55 of the 82 games he played in. His shooting, as with most rookies, was dreadful, hitting just 37.6% of his shots and not showing his alleged expertise from beyond the arc, connecting on just 32% of his 3-point attempts.
Stauskas is also a shooter that was taken quite early (8th overall) in the draft. Is he a better shooter than McLemore? A better player? Trying not to take into account the very important factor of actually having some NBA experience, Stauskas is a bit more versatile than McLemore. He is better when shooting off the dribble and is a much better passer, unless we’ll see a new and improved McLemore when the season begins.
It’ll be interesting to see if Michael Malone tries to play the two together. Both are shooting guards, but Stauskas can be a playmaker from what we’ve seen from him in college. McLemore? More of a spot up shooter from the wing, either as a shooting guard or small forward, which is something Stauskas can do as well.
Maybe it’ll come down to their defense, something that is a cause for concern when it comes to Stauskas. Malone wasn’t very happy all season long with the defensive effort he saw from his players and was quite vocal about it, even through the media. Offensively, this sounds like a tandem that has interesting potential. Defensively? Not so much, especially on a team that’s already struggling on that account.
Stauskas played only two seasons with Michigan before having enough of college basketball. He averaged 11 points per game during his Freshman year, helping the Wolverines to the final of the NCAA tournament. Last season ended a bit sooner, yet Stauskas vastly improved, averaging 17.5 points while hitting a very impressive 44.2% of his 3-point attempts.