Lights. Out. Shooter. That is what people thought of Nik Stauskas after his freshman year with the Michigan Wolverines last season. There wasn’t any talk before this year that Stauskas was going to be in the running for Big Ten Player of the Year. Hell, there wasn’t any conversation about him being the best player on his own team. But here we are, gearing up for the Sweet Sixteen and with a POTY title and another deep tournament run under his belt, Nik Stauskas is showing that he is more than that lights out shooter people believed him to be.
So what does this have to do with the Boston Celtics? Well, before Ray Allen came to town, who was the Celt’s best knock-down shooter? Does Walter McCarty count? Would Tony Delk qualify? Probably not. The C’s have two first-round draft picks this year, and Stauskas could be a great fit with their second pick of the night.
With such an emphasis on corner three pointers in today’s game, Stauskas can certainly offer that role at the very least. That is his floor, a deadeye corner shooter who can be a secondary ball handler. I know that is not what you want from a potential lottery, mid-first round pick, but he has such tremendous upside. I think of a Mike Miller type, with a better dribble-drive game. Put him alongside Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Top five pick X, Jeff Green, and others, and the Celtics may actually have a somewhat explosive offense.
Rondo would love to play with a guy like Stauskas. As much as Rajon and Ray Allen didn’t get along off the court, Rondo and Ray made sweet music together on it. A shooter like Stauskas would only make Rondo more dangerous than he already is, and you can put Bradley on the floor as well because of the defensive presence he brings would counter the size issue. In fact, with the small ball way of life becoming the trend in in the NBA, Stauskas would be a small three that could help space the floor with Jeff Green and perhaps Julius Randle on the floor?
Even without a Julius Randle type, Stauskas would be a great fit for a team that desperately needs outside shooting. Add his ability to create for himself, as well as his underrated passing skills and Stauskas would make a great second-fiddle to Rondo. It also allows the C’s to let guys like Chris Johnson and Jerryd Bayless walk at the end of the year. Hopefully Danny Ainge sees a bit of himself in Stauskas, then you can see me lining up at Olympia Sports to pick up my Stauskas t-shirt for opening night of the 2014-15 season.