The Sacramento Kings drafted Nik Stauskas with the eighth pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, but an underwhelming rookie season led to a trade which sent the shooting guard to the Philadelphia 76ers before his sophomore season.
When the Kings play the Sixers on Wednesday, Sacramento will see Stauskas come off the bench in the midst of the best season in his career.
Stauskas is averaging just over 10 points per game and is tied for sixth in the league in three point percentage at .451 through the first 18 games of the season.
He has been very effective in the 25 minutes per game he is playing for the 76ers. The former Kings guard is leading the league in effective field goal percentage (.638), an advanced stat which gives more worth to a three point field goal than a two point field goal.
During his rookie season in Sacramento, Stauskas played in 73 games and averaged just 15 minutes per game. He looked lost at times on the court and rarely showed the skills which made him a first round pick. He averaged just over four points per game and shot a low 32 percent from beyond the three point line.
The Kings packaged Stauskas, Carl Landry and Jason Thompson in a big trade to the Sixers to unload cap space for free agency before the 2015-16 season.
The 10.3 points per game he is putting up while coming off the bench would be the fourth highest scoring average on the Kings this season.
Sacramento does not a player coming off the bench who is scoring more than seven points per game. Stauskas would also be at, or near, the top in field goal and three point percentage for the Kings.
It has been a few seasons since the Kings traded Stauskas, and it's hard to forecast if he will still progress as a player from where he is now, but it begs the question...
Did the Sacramento Kings give up on Stauskas too soon?
As KHTK's Grant Napear loves to say, "it takes three years before you can evaluate a draft pick."
This is the third year of his career and he is showing through 18 games he can be a quality player coming off the bench.
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