SACRAMENTO (CBS13/AP) — The Sacramento Kings looked to fill their shooting void by taking perhaps the best marksman available in the draft when they selected Michigan guard Nik Stauskas with the eighth overall pick.
This marks the second straight season the Kings used a top 10 pick on a shooting guard. But Stauskas is a much more accomplished shooter than last year’s seventh pick Ben McLemore, who shot 38 percent from the field and 32 percent from long range as a rookie.
The 6-foot-6 Stauskas became one of the nation’s most well-rounded offensive players, averaging 17.5 points last season on the way to winning Big Ten player of the year honors. Stauskas shot 44 percent from 3-point range in two years in college and improved his ball handling and defense considerably in his second season when he took over a big share of the playmaking role with departure of star point guard Trey Burke to the NBA.
|1||Cavaliers||Andrew Wiggins – Kansas|
|2||Bucks||Jabari Parker – Duke|
|3||76ers||Joel Embiid – Kansas|
|4||Magic||Aaron Gordon – Arizona|
|5||Jazz||Dante Exum – Australia|
|6||Celtics||Marcus Smart – Oklahoma St.|
|7||Lakers||Julius Randle – Kentucky|
|8||Kings||Nik Stauskas – Michigan|
|9||Hornets||Noah Vonieh – Indiana|
|10||76ers||Elfrid Payton – Louisiana Lafayette|
|11||Nuggets||Doug McDermott* – Creighton|
|12||Magic||Dario Saric – Croatia|
|13||Timberwolves||Zach LaVine – UCLA|
|14||Suns||T.J. Warren – NC State|
|15||Hawks||Adreian Payne – Michigan State|
|16||Bulls||Jusuf Nurkic – Bosnia|
|17||Celtics||James Young – Kentucky|
|18||Suns||Tyler Ennis – Syracuse|
|19||Bulls||Gary Harris – Michigan State|
|20||Raptors||Bruno Caboclo – Brazil|
|21||Thunder||Mitch McGary – Michigan|
|22||Grizzlies||Jordan Adams – UCLA|
|23||Jazz||Rodney Hood – Duke|
|24||Hornets||Shabazz Napier** – UConn|
|25||Rockets||Clint Capela – Switzerland|
|26||Heat||P.J. Hairston – UNC|
|27||Suns||Bogdan Bogdanovic – Serbia|
|28||Clippers||C.J. Wilcox – Washginton|
|29||Thunder||Josh Huestis – Stanford|
|30||Spurs||Kyle Anderson – UCLA|
*Traded to Chicago Bulls **Traded to Miami Heat
Stauskas is from Mississauga, Ontario, and followed top pick Andrew Wiggins as the second Canadian taken in the draft.
The Kings are coming off their eighth straight losing season but are looking for improvement in the second season under owner Vivek Ranadive, general manager Pete D’Alessandro and coach Mike Malone.
WATCH: Stauskas hits 70.76 3pt shots in rain
There was little progress in the first year under the new leadership as Sacramento went 28-54 for a second straight season as Malone was not able to turn the Kings into the defensive-minded team as he had hoped.
Sacramento is looking to build around a core led by temperamental power forward DeMarcus Cousins, small forward Rudy Gay and point guard Isaiah Thomas. Cousins signed a four-year, $62 million contract extension before last season, Gay exercised his $19.2 million option earlier this week and Thomas is expected to stay despite being a restricted free agent.
The Kings have struggled in recent years to add to the core as first-round picks Jimmer Fredette (2011) and Thomas Robinson (2012) are no longer on the team and McLemore struggled as a rookie.
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