Editor's note: This article is part of a continuing series in which Insider Bill Herenda highlights a different Kings player every day leading up to the 2014-15 season opener on Oct. 29
Contract status: Signed through 2015-16, Team Option 2016-17 (Selected by the Kings in the first round (8th overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft out of Michigan)
2013-14 year in review: As a sophomore, Stauskas earned Big 10 Player of the Year for the Wolverines, averaging a team-high 17.5 points (.470 FG percentage, .442 3-PT percentage, .824 FT percentage), 2.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists per game, and averaged 35.6 minutes per game in 36 appearances. Stauskas ranked third in the Big 10 in scoring and second in three-point percentage (13th in nation). After losing to Louisville in the NCAA Finals in 2012-13, Stauskas led Michigan to the NCAA Midwest Regional Finals where they lost to the eventual NCAA Champion Kentucky Wildcats.
2014-15 Outlook: Sacramento struggled mightily from beyond the three-point line last season shooting 33 percent which tied for 27th in the NBA. The Kings will look to fill the gap with Stauskas who shot 44 percent from three-point range in his two seasons in Michigan. Playing in Coach Beilein’s offensive style that is heavily laden with read-and-react and pick-and-roll scenarios should be excellent preparation for the NBA.
Stauksas plays with moxie and confidence. He is a legitimate six foot six swingman with good ball handling skills, and is athletic with ability to get to the rim and finish. The challenge will be adjusting to the physicality of the NBA game while maintaining the aforementioned confidence and three-point shooting efficiency he demonstrated in college.
The opportunity is there for playing time even though the Kings return second-year shooting guard Ben McLemore, who is also trying to establish his NBA credentials. If Stauskas or McLemore do not grab the minutes available, Coach Michael Malone may slide Rudy Gay over from small forward or even play another point guard in Ramon Sessions at the shooting guard.