The Laughable Kings and the Future of Nik Stauskas

Photo Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Photo Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Voila_Capture 2015-07-06_12-08-35_PM

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(At this point, it has to be for attention that Howard Eskin says things like this, right?)

The irony of the Sixers-Kings deal is how much the trade proves the old approach to the NBA is disastrous. The “Hinkie Process” might not be right, either (the plane may never land, winning may never become a priority, etc.) but, damn, if the Sacramento Kings didn’t make a hole a chasm.

Think about why the deal happened: A few years ago, in an attempt to stay somewhat relevant, the Kings slightly overpaid mediocre free agent Carl Landry to come to town and slightly overpaid Jason Thompson to stay put. Cap strapped, the Kings needed to unload both to make a run at Monta Ellis (already signed with the Pacers), Wesley Matthews (already signed with the Mavericks) and Rajon Rondo (still a possibility).

Out of the Kings’ desperation, the Sixers somehow swindled the option to swap picks with the Kings in ’16 or ’17 (a pick already in jeopardy to go to the Bulls if the Kings are too good because of the horrible trade for J.J. Hickson). Despite all attempts to stay relevant, the Kings were the sixth worst team in the NBA last year. Right now, they look worse off. However, they can’t completely tank because there’s really no benefit. Especially if the Sixers are improved. Is it realistic Philly improves by five games and the Kings actually get five games worse, thus ceding their pick to the Sixers? Considering the offseason at this point, the team’s respective conferences and the soap opera that is unraveling in Sacramento, this isn’t a pipe dream.

Plus, the Sixers get a future first round pick from the Kings.

Plus, Landry and Thompson, who aren’t terrible. The pair roughly cost what the Celtics paid for Amir Johnson.

Plus, Nik Stauskas.

But, to Eskin’s “point”, how much can one get excited about Stauskas who averaged 4.4 points per game off the bench last year for a very poor Kings team?

To start, plenty of Hinkie-ites (is that a thing?) would have been thrilled to have Stauskas at 10 in the ’14 draft. Stauskas went eighth overall and the Sixers headed the asset direction. However, from most accounts, Stauskas’ rookie campaign was a flop.

Is that cause for concern? Maybe, but enjoy Stauskas sinking 70 of 76 threes IN THE RAIN in his backyard before we project out his career:

Using Basketball-Reference’s Play Index, there were 45 players who sort of fit the Stauskas mold and flopped as hard as Stauskas in their rookie year. The criteria was 6’4″ to 6’8″ guards who played 50+ games, started less than half of those, played 15+ minutes per game, and had a Player Efficiency Rating below 10 in their rookie year. The list was narrowed to the last 25 years and players only drafted in the first round which brought the group down to 20. Finally, to give the best possible comparison, players who could stroke it in college (over 40% from beyond the arc) were identified.

This gave a list of 6 players: Bo Kimble, Hubert Davis, Allan Houston, Casey Jacobsen, Kareem Rush and Daequan Cook.

Here’s how those 6 fared after their rookie year in the NBA:

Stauskas

For comparison’s sake, Stauskas is in no way similar in skill set to Allan Houston, who recovered the best from his poor rookie year. On the other end, Bo Kimble’s career was derailed mostly by his inability to mentally transition to the NBA.

That leaves Davis, Jacobsen, Cook and Rush. Davis was the most successful of the group. He became a sharpshooter at the pro level (all-time, he has the second highest career three point shooting percentage behind Steve Kerr) and was a very productive bench player for 12 years.

The other three had very similar production and career arcs. All three found their way to Europe and were below average bench players in the pros.

On the upside, outside of Kimble, all the players on the list unsurprisingly improved from three, especially Davis. However, only Davis and Houston (again, nothing like Stauskas in playing style and skill set) showed enough improvement to become key contributors.

If Stauskas becomes close to Davis, this would be a big win for the Sixers considering Davis’ career three point success and the increased emphasis in the league on the outside game. It’s more likely Stauskas is similar to the other three.

While the comparison is crude and there should be more pessimism than optimism about Stauskas’ outlook, the anti-Sam-ites have harped on the stockpiling of assets with very little effort to improve. For what it’s worth, the addition of Landry, Thompson and (especially) Stauskas is an attempt to improve both short term and long term. More importantly, somehow Hinkie was able to use current assets to add potentially useful parts AND add even more future assets. That’s wizardry.

For reference, here are the six players referenced compared to Stauskas in their rookie years:

Stauskas2

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35 Responses

  1. No one gets excited about a video of a player against no defenders quite like a Sixers fan. (Bynum, Embid and now Stauskas)

  2. I have an idea

    Everyone ignore all of Eskin’s material for about a month or two.

    He will disappear since he will have no ratings whatsoever.

    The end

  3. I’m tired of losing seasons and wait on these future picks. Sure we hope stauskas plays like an 8th pick should, and we hope that switching picks with the kings over the next 2 seasons allows the 76ers to stop tanking.

    But if those things don’t pan out, then ownership just paid $25 million for a first round pick in 2018 that won’t fall in the top 10.

    1. It’s likely they were under the minimum in cap spending this upcoming year and would have had to spend the $$$ anyway. No one wanted to come here when they were mediocre. When Reggie Jackson gets 5 years at $80 million and is likely to make a bad team only 1-2 wins better, the Sixers have to operate this way as overspending doesn’t get you there in the NBA.

          1. it’s crazy as hell, but that’s also the new NBA.

            Isn’t Steph Curry something like the 6th highest paid player on Golden State?

    2. Together we Hope,

      Yes, Because the years leading up to Hinkie were so great.. This had been a trainwreck franchise for 20 + years save for a couple of Larry Brown years. Years where we had zero chance of ever winning a championship. This is what I don’t get about the Hinkie-haters, what was so great about the years before him? Do you really miss the Brand-Iggy days? The Lou Williams days? We were the definition of mediocrity with no hope of anything better. For the first time in forever, this team has a pulse and a plan. Will it work? Nothing is ever guaranteed but I sure as hell no that this plan has a far better chance of winning than anything else this franchise hash tried in years. I seriously ask, what days are you missing? What Billy King plan are you pining for agsin? Do you long for the days of the 7-8 seed and the 1or 2 playoff rounds and done? Do you miss those seasons where we had no chance to win a title? Name me 5 teams who you woujd trade places with right now

  4. The Kings are a perfect example of team that is just trying to build to make the playoffs so they have something to play for when they open their new area in 2016. I’m not saying they don’t care about the future drafts picks we fleeced from them, but they just want to put out a winner and really don’t think they will win a Championship with this team.

    That is why I respect what Hinkie is doing because he is trying to build an NBA Champion, and not just a good team like the Kings. Now I always say that nobody knows if Hinkie’s plan will work, but he could have easily built this team to make the playoffs and maybe win a round by keeping Holliday and surrounding him with players like the Kings have targeted in Free Agency. Ironically, all of the idiots like Eskin, Marcus Hayes, Big Daddy, and Dick Jerardi’s would not be questioning that plan, despite the fact that we would not be any closer to a championship?

    1. thats insightful, the difference is i dont get paid to post sh*t here.

      if its any consolation your mom doesn’t pay me either but i put in maximum effort with her.

  5. Knicks or Lakers make this deal and Eskins creams his tailored suit pants.

  6. Does it matter that these threes are coming from the same distance as my 8 year old leagues’ 3’s?

  7. Eskin is a hater. Unless your name is Andy Reid or Charles Barkley, he HATES everybody.

  8. I’m still waiting for the Lakers to do what Eskin “thinks they’re gonna do”……..was signing Lou Williams and trading for Roy Hibbert those big moves he was talking about. Eskin’s argument will be “well at least they are trying to win” …….win what?

    More and more you see how out of touch these old bastards are becoming…..i flipped to Sportscenter the other day and Tony Kornheiser (anti-sixers) was on there and was genuinely confused on how the Knicks and Lakers were not being seen by players as franchises they HAVE to play for. He seemed depressed about it actually, and he was unintentionally proving the point of the Sixers plan. No player really cares about the big market anymore, the checks cash in every city. You draft your own talent and become a new destination for free agents by showing promise through their development or add players by trade with assets you have accumulated

    1. From the business side of things, why would you want to go to a big market team that is horrible and not be the face of the franchise? You’re buried behind Kobe in LA and Melo in NY… Not to mention all of the other sports teams.

      1. exactly, plus if you’re talented enough and marketable the endorsements will come to you.

        Kevin Durant does great in Oklahoma City,so does westbrook
        Jabari Parker is always on my tv for gatorade, i think?
        Kevin Love was doing footlocker ads while he played in Minnesota
        Vince Carter back in the day while in Toronto
        Dwight Howard in Orlando
        Steve Nash while in Phoenix….list goes on and on

        1. Very true, this isn’t 1970 anymore.

          I didn’t know where “Golden State” was until I was 12. Can’t imagine the kids in China/Spain/Japan know what a “Golden State” is, but they are still watching Steph.

  9. My knowledge of basketball is more limited than that of a 5th grader with ADD. But I will continue to pretend I know what thew fuck I’m talking about since it’s kind of my job, which I suck at.

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