Five Players To Be Excited About Watching In 2015-16

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April 5, 2015; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Nik Stauskas (10) shoots the basketball against Utah Jazz forward Trevor Booker (33) during the first quarter at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

First off is Nik Stauskas, otherwise known as Sauce Castillo. Stauskas is entering his second year in the NBA, with a lot to prove. His first year with the Sacramento Kings was not what it was expected to be. So much so, that the Kings felt like getting rid of his salary was a good move for them.

Well, one team’s trash is another team’s treasure, I suppose. Although Stauskas didn’t work out in Sacramento, I think the Sixers environment is one that will allow him to grow. Filled with other young talent looking to grow into developed NBA players, Stauskas is going to be working around players with similar situations to him.

The Sixers have been seen around the NBA as an “Island of Misfit a Toys,” of sorts, and Sauce is one of those toys right now.

This alone gets me excited to see what he can do. As he’s expected to start, with something to prove, I’m looking for him to score plenty compared to last year, and really find his grove.

Stauskas was only given 15 minutes per game last year, which I feel was part of the issue. His points per 38 minutes were drastically better compared to his per game stats.

Season FG% 3P% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PTS
2014-15 .365 .322 0.4 2.5 2.8 2.1 0.6 0.5 1.3 10.2
Career .365 .322 0.4 2.5 2.8 2.1 0.6 0.5 1.3 10.2

Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/7/2015.

Is Stauskas an emerging star in this league? Certainly not yet. But, with the help of some other “lower grade” NBA players around him also looking to make themselves known, I think it could definitely do his growth well.

As for right now, Stauskas can easily turn himself into a crucial piece of the Sixers rebuild. Unfortunately for him, that could mean much more than being just a starter in Philly. Stauskas being “valuable” to the process means he could end up being a pawn in a trade. With no games played in Philly yet, and no real ties to the city, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was part of a deal at the trade deadline or another point throughout the season, unless he truly makes a huge impact on the team right away.

After scoring over 17 points per game with Michigan in his final year at college, it was surely disappointing to see him fail to break five points per game in his debut season. I’m expecting him to average 8.5 points per game, with four assists per game, at the bare minimum.

Next: Nerlens Noel