The Thirteen Misfit Toys

8 of 14

April 3, 2015; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Nik Stauskas (10) dribbles the basketball during the first quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans at Sleep Train Arena. The Pelicans defeated the Kings 101-95. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Shooting Guard
Nik Stauskas
The Sixers have coveted Nik Stauskas since he expressed interest in the NBA. This year, we’ll discover if that desire was warranted.  Another member of the Sixers Sopohomore club, Stauskas showed more flash in marketing hot sauce than in heating up the floor in Sacramento.  But their loss is our gain. Stauskas continues along the role of perimeter shooting.   As more and more of the Sixers offensive production is projected to roll off the fingers of the big men down low, the team is setting up to keep their opponents honest.   Stauskas will do plenty of damage from long distance.  He might have done more damage while on the Sacramento Kings, but he couldn’t crack their roster to warrant enough playing time.  So he sat, and watched.

"“It’s crazy, but … on the bench you start to see (Karl’s) reactions and what he thinks about certain shots,” Stauskas said. “So I kinda got a better feel for the shots he wanted and the shots and plays he didn’t want. And since I started getting out there, I know what he’s aiming for now. I think it helped me a little bit, for sure.”"

The Sixers hope that bench time did indeed help. They picked up Stauskas to become one of the keystones in their attempt to engineer a dynasty.  But, much like the farmers of mid-state Pennsylvania, the team can only select the crop of talent and plant them together.  And then wait.  Wait until it grows up and they find if they have filled the barns with talent, or just need to plow everything under and try again next year. Is there reason to hope?  You bet.  Stauskas is shooting 45.7 percent from the field and 45.2 percent from three-point range in March, huge improvements from his season average. His game improved when he took the floor with Kings guard Andre Miller

"“I love playing with ’Dre. I feel he’s always got his head up, he’s always making the right play out there. Having him out there, I’ve gotten a lot of good shots just from him creating shots for me. I really like the system that we’ve got going on with Coach Karl here. It kinda lets the guards play more freely. … That’s a lot (of) how I played in college. I feel comfortable doing that and also getting consistent minutes.”"

While the Sixers work out their game plans based on the talent of their team, look for Stauskas to find the same comfort level. In contrast to trying to make the most of few minutes, he will likely see plenty of floor this season. That amount of playing time will quickly place him in his comfort zone. As he gets comfortable, he will get deadly accurate.

Next: Joel Embiid