Nik Stauskas (2016-17)
And finally, closing out the worst starters list of the Embiid era is Nik Stauskas, the sharpshooter out of the University of Michigan. Does anyone remember watching that viral video of Stauskas in his backyard where he made 70 of 76 three-pointers in 5 minutes?! Nik made 46 of those in a row too! The hype around him shot through the roof and man did that shooting stroke look so smooth.
Unfortunately, for both Nik and the Sixers, that backyard talent never fully translated into the NBA. During his sophomore season at Michigan, Stauskas burst onto the scene. He finished the season averaging 17.5 points per game on 47% shooting from the field and 44% from three-point range. Those impressive numbers led to him being drafted by the Sacramento Kings with the 8th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
Stauskas’ skillset should have been a perfect fit alongside Embiid.
Nik joined the Sixers after just one year in the NBA with the Kings, and the Sixers were hopeful his shooting prowess from Michigan would resurface. He should have been able to stretch the floor to allow Embiid more room to operate in the paint, yet he never found the success seen during his time at Michigan.
In Philly, Stauskas started 35 games in 2015-16 and 27 games in 2016-17. He shot 32.6% and 36.8% from three-point range, respectively in those two seasons, far from the 44% in college. His biggest strength, and likely his survival line in the NBA regressed to the mean and ultimately that was the downfall for Stauskas. Following the 2016-17 seasons, Stauskas never again started a game in the league. Is any more proof needed that he was not an NBA-caliber starter?