Nikolas Tomas Stauskas (born October 7, 1993) is a Canadian professional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). A native of Mississauga, Ontario, Stauskas played two seasons of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) competition for the Michigan Wolverines ending with the 2013–14 team before declaring for the NBA draft. Stauskas was drafted eighth overall in the 2014 NBA draft by the Sacramento Kings, for which he began his NBA career. Towards the end of his rookie season, Stauskas was tagged with the nickname Sauce Castillo after a closed captioning error resulted in a social media meme. Stauskas, whose family is of Lithuanian heritage, is a member of the Canadian national basketball team.

Stauskas divided his high school years between Loyola Catholic Secondary School, South Kent School and St. Mark's School, leading the latter to back-to-back New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) Class AA Championship Games. The team won the NEPSAC championship in Stauskas's 2012 senior season, and he was the championship game's Most Valuable Player (MVP). He was also selected to the NEPSAC All-Class AA team.

As a freshman for the 2012–13 Michigan Wolverines, he was named Sports Illustrated National Freshman of the Week once, Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Week three times and to the Wayman Tisdale Award, United States Basketball Writers Association National Freshman of the Year, top 12 midseason list. During the 2013 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, he earned South All-Regional Team recognition. As a sophomore for the 2013–14 team, Stauskas went on to be named a 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball consensus All-American and was named Big Ten Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year for the 2013–14 Big Ten Conference men's basketball season.

 

 

Early life

Stauskas gravitated toward basketball during his childhood.[2] Stauskas has never played ice hockey and barely has played street hockey. He tried soccer at age six, but a broken arm put an end to that. His first experience with basketball came as a member of the Ausra Sports Club, which is a Toronto-based traveling team for children of Lithuanian descent. Stauskas grew up a Raptors fan with Vince Carter as his favorite player. At age eight or nine, he "played" Carter one-on-one at a Raptors open practice for fans held at Air Canada Centre, which boosted his enthusiasm for the sport.[2] Ever since then shooting a basketball has been his favorite form of recreation.[3] He became so devoted to basketball that his head coach at Michigan, John Beilein, said in 2013,[5]

He doesn't know anything about hockey, he doesn't know anything about football. The other day we had him try to throw a baseball pass as a press breaker. And he had never thrown a baseball.

In fifth grade, his parents gave him and his brother a choice on how to landscape their backyard: a swimming pool, a putting green or a basketball court, leading to the family backyard court.[2] He and his older brother Peter would play at all hours and all conditions, including a 2006 ice storm that was so severe that, as he recalled in 2013, "The ball couldn't hit the backboard without slipping off, but we didn't care."[5]

High school career

His brother claims that Stauskas scored about 50 points a game in middle school.[2] For much of his youth, he and future Gonzaga point guard Kevin Pangos attended basketball camps together, regularly playing one-on-one while other campers took breaks from basketball for other activities.[5] Until 2009, Stauskas played for Loyola Catholic Secondary School.[5] He averaged 15 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in 2007–08 and 32 points, 14 rebounds and 7.5 assists in 2008–09. Its basketball team nearly disbanded before Stauskas's grade 10 season in 2008–09, when Loyola was in danger of not fielding a team because school policy required the presence of a teacher. Although his father, a computer consultant, was willing to volunteer as a coach, no teacher was willing to serve. Stauskas's father finally found a French teacher who sat in the gym and graded papers while his father coached.[5] In the meantime, Stauskas joined the premier Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) team in Toronto, run by Ro Russell. Some of Russell's prior players, such as Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph had gone to the United States to complete their scholastic years.[2] Stauskas, not wishing to risk not having a team to play on after the crisis of 2008–2009,[5] spent the 2009–10 academic year at South Kent School, but the forested rural campus made him homesick and he transferred to St. Mark's School the following year.[8] He missed the 2009–10 basketball season as a result of a hip injury. Michigan Wolverines men's basketball head coach John Beilein became familiar with Stauskas during the Summer 2010 NBA camp prior to Stauskas's junior year.[9] Stauskas visited Michigan that summer and was also being recruited by Villanova, Iowa State, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Florida and Providence.[10] By the time he arrived at St. Mark's, he was expected to be an All-State performer.[12] In the 2011 NEPSAC Class AA Championship game, Stauskas led St. Mark's in scoring with 17 points against Nerlens Noel and the Tilton School, but St. Marks lost 72–56.[13] On March 26, 2011, Stauskas made a verbal commitment to Michigan. This commitment made him the second member of Michigan's recruiting class of 2012.[21][16] That summer he scored 27 points in an exhibition of Canadian high school all-stars against the Baylor Bears men's basketball team.[2]

Prior to his senior year, ESPN named him as one of the top 25 three point shooters in the national class of 2012.[17] At the time of their November 2011 National Letter of Intent signings, Stauskas, Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary gave Michigan a consensus top 10 entering class for its 2012 class.[12] Stauskas visited Michigan along with future teammate Robinson to see the 61–56 New Year's Day 2012 victory by the 2011–12 Wolverines team over Minnesota.[13][20] Then Stauskas led St. Mark's to 67–57 victory in a 2012 Hoophall Classic contest with 16 points against Friends Central.[21] As the season progressed, Stauskas (and Robinson) improved in the national player ratings to offset McGary's slide and maintain a top-rated class.[22][23][21] He scored 19 to lead his school to a 59–53 2012 NEPSAC Class AA Championship game victory over Noel's Tilton.[29] Stauskas earned the NEPSAC championship game MVP.[26] He was selected to the 2012 All-NEPSAC Class AA first team (along with teammate Kaleb Tarczewski).[27][7] Following these honors, Stauskas's stock and rankings continued to rise.[19]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
NameHometownHigh school / collegeHeightWeightCommit date
Nik Stauskas
SF/SG
Mississauga, OntarioLoyola Catholic (ON)
South Kent (CT)
St. Mark's (MA)
6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)205 lb (93 kg)Apr 7, 2014 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:   Rivals:   247SportsN/A    ESPN grade: 92
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 18 (SF)   Rivals: 71, 13 (SG)  ESPN: 76, 21 (SF), 2 (CAN)
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.

Sources:

  • . Rivals.com. Retrieved November 30, 2012. 
  • . Scout.com. Retrieved November 30, 2012. 
  • . ESPN.com. Retrieved November 30, 2012. 
  • . Scout.com. Retrieved November 30, 2012. 
  • . Rivals.com. Retrieved November 30, 2012. 

College career

The 2011–12 Michigan Wolverines men's basketball team had been co-champions of 2011–12 Big Ten Conference,[22] but lost both of its co-captains, Zack Novak and Stu Douglass, to graduation and three players as transfers.[23][24] The team was returning a nucleus of All-Big Ten players Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr.[25]

Freshman

 
 
 
Stauskas in action in (2012-12-08)

Stauskas began his college career with the expectation that he would be a sharpshooter based on his performance in three-point field goal drills in which he had raised the bar for the team.[34] In the championship rounds of the 2012 NIT Season Tip-Off tournament at Madison Square Garden on November 21 and 23, Michigan defeated Pittsburgh and Kansas State, respectively, to win the tournament.[95][30][97] On November 26, Stauskas earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors for his NIT tournament performance in which he averaged 12.5 points and 4.5 rebounds.[98][99][24] On November 27, Michigan defeated its first ranked opponent of the season, NC State (#18 AP Poll/#18 Coaches' Poll), in the ACC–Big Ten Challenge with a then-career-high 20 points from Stauskas in a 79–72 victory.[101] After that game, ESPN analyst Dan Dakich described Stauskas as the most underrated freshman in the country.[42] That week, Burke called Stauskas the best shooter he has ever played with.[43] On December 1 against Bradley, Stauskas made his first career regular season start and posted a new career-high 22 points.[5][5] For his first two 20 point performances, he repeated as Big Ten Freshman of the Week on December 3.[5] Stauskas also earned recognition from Sports Illustrated's Seth Davis as National Freshman of the Week on December 3.[5] On December 29, against Central Michigan, Stauskas posted 19 points on 5-for-8 three point shooting. His 5 three pointers and 7 rebounds were career-highs, earning him his third Big Ten Freshman of the Week on December 31.[121][29]

 
 
 
 
 
Stauskas in action in the 2012–13 Big Ten Conference men's basketball season opener on January 3 against Northwestern: left—slashing, left center—a layup, right center—follow through on a three-point field goal, right— a jump shot

Entering the day of December 31, Stauskas led the nation in three point field goal percentage.[29] This is somewhat confusing because various sources have various eligibility thresholds. ESPN reports leaders based on a 2 three point attempts per game minimum,[5] while BigTen.org only requires a minimum of 1.5 attempts per game for eligibility.[5] NCAA.org requires a minimum of 2.5 made per game, and Stauskas had been the leader since the December 9 weekly report.[5] On January 16, Sporting News named Stauskas the surprise player of the first half of the year.[5] As late as January 28 Stauskas was leading the Big Ten in free throw shooting percentage (.833) as well as three pointers made and was second in 3-point shooting percentage (.490). On that day, Michigan was ranked number one in the AP Poll with 51 of the 65 first place votes.[143] It marked the first time Michigan ranked atop the AP Poll since the Fab Five 1992–93 team did so on December 5, 1992.[141] On January 31, Stauskas and Robinson were named to the Wayman Tisdale Award (USBWA National Freshman of the Year) top 12 midseason list, recognizing their performances as being among the 12 best freshman performances in the NCAA competition.[38] Stauskas finished the 18-game 2012–13 Big Ten Conference men's basketball season schedule with a 37% three point-percentage on 30-for-81 shooting during conference play.[58]

 

Prior to the 2013 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com named Michigan with Stauskas first among tournament teams in terms of having the most future NBA talent on its roster (in the absence of Kentucky who was relegated to the 2013 National Invitation Tournament).[181] Having made his last 20 consecutive free throws entering the 2013 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament Sweet Sixteen,[46] Stauskas ended the season with an 85.1% (74–87) free throw shooting percentage,[61] which was better than the Big Ten Conference free throw shooting percentage leader, Adreian Payne (84.8%).[51] In the regional finals on March 31 against Florida, Stauskas made all 6 of his three-point shot attempts, including all 5 in the first half as the team built a 41–17 lead before going into the half up 47–30.[197] Michigan advanced to the April 8 national championship game where the team lost to Louisville by an 82–76 margin.[8] His 6 three-point shots was a new career best and his 22-point performance tied his career high.[199] All his three-point shots came from the left corner.[8] The 6 three point shots pushed Stauskas to a Michigan freshman-season record total of 79, surpassing Tim Hardaway, Jr.'s 2-year-old record of 76.[199] Stauskas joined McGary and Most Outstanding Player Trey Burke on the South All-Regional team.[8] For the season, his .9 fouls per 40 minutes was second in the country.[8]

Sophomore

 

In the offseason, Stauskas added 16 pounds (7.3 kg) to his frame and 6 inches (15.2 cm) to his vertical jump.[8] Lindy's Sports selected Stauskas to the preseason All-Big Ten second team, naming Stauskas as the nation's number 10 shooting guard and Big Ten's best shooter.[71] On November 12, Stauskas posted career highs of 23 points and 5 assists in the second game of the regular season against South Carolina State. In the first half of the game, Stauskas made all six of his field goals, including 5 three-pointers.[8][8] In the next game, Stauskas contributed a career-high 6 assists as well as 20 points against Iowa State on November 17.[8] Stauskas scored a game-high 24 points on November 21 against Long Beach State in the first round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, surpassing his career high[9] set two games before and giving him three consecutive 20-point performances for the first time in his career.[9][9] Stauskas established another career high the next day against Florida State as he scored 26 points including 7 of the team's 13 points in overtime, despite scoring only 3 points in the first half. In the game, he set a career high with 9 made free throws and logged his fourth consecutive 20 point game. Following a Michigan timeout with 11 seconds in regulation, Stauskas made a layup to force overtime.[9][9][9] In the championship game against Charlotte, Stauskas tallied 20 points and a career-high 3 steals.[9] Although Michigan lost in the championship game, Stauskas earned tournament MVP honors.[9] In the second half Stauskas twisted his ankle, but continued to play the final 9½ minutes.[9] Stauskas sat out the November 29 game against Coppin State to rest his ankle.[9][10]

Image
 
Stauskas drives against Marshall Plumlee.
 
 

In the January 2 Big Ten Conference opener against Minnesota, Stauskas set a career high with 7 assists while scoring 14 points.[10][10] On January 14, he had a game-high 21 points, team-high 5 assists as well as 6 rebounds against Penn State.[10] On January 18, Stauskas scored 23 points including the final 11 for Michigan as the team defeated (#3)[10] Wisconsin at the Kohl Center for the first time since the 1998–99 team did so,[10] ending an 11-game losing streak at Wisconsin.[35] Stauskas made all 6 of his free throw attempts in the final 25 seconds.[35] The game marked the highest ranked team Michigan has ever beaten on the road.[10][10][10] On January 21, Stauskas earned his first Big Ten Conference Player of the Week recognition. At the time he was leading the conference in scoring and 20-point games.[12] On January 22, against (#10)[12] Iowa Stauskas tied his career high with 26 points and contributed 5 rebounds and 5 assists, helping Michigan defeated consecutive top 10 opponents for the first time since the 1996–97 team.[12][12] On January 25 in the Michigan–Michigan rivalry game against the 2013–14 Spartans, Stauskas contributed 19 points and 4 assists, including a 5-for-6 effort on three point shots.[12] The 80–75 victory over (#3)[12] Michigan State marked the first time in school history that the team defeated three consecutive AP Poll top ten opponents and marked the first time since the 1986–87 Iowa Hawkeyes that any team has won three consecutive games all of which were against top 10 opponents.[148] It also gave Michigan a 7–0 Big Ten start, which is the best since the 1976–77 team won its first eight games.[148] His effort for the week earned a second Big Ten Player of the Week recognition as well as a CBS Sports National Player of the Week honor on January 27.[12][12][12] Stauskas also earned Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week recognition from United States Basketball Writers Association on January 28.[13] He led the conference in scoring and three point shooting percentage through January,[13] but he only scored six points when Michigan got upset by Indiana on February 2, ending a 10-game winning streak and 8–0 Big Ten conference start.[13] Stuaskas established another career high in assists with 8 against Nebraska on February 5 as the team posted its largest conference game margin of victory since defeating Indiana 112-64 on February 22, 1998.[13][13] On February 23 against (#13/14)[13] Michigan State, Michigan rebounded from an early 22–11 deficit to win 79–70.[165] Stauskas led the way with 25 points on 9-for-13 shooting and with 21 coming in the second half, including 10 that took the score from a 48–43 deficit to a 53–51 lead.[165] It marked his first game with 9 made field goals.[13] He added 5 assists, 3 rebounds and no fouls on his way to earning his third Big Ten Player of the Week recognition on February 24.[13][13] On March 4, Stauskas had 24 points, including a career-high seven three point shots, as part of a 7-for-9 three point effort against Illinois to help Michigan clinch its 14th and 8th outright Big Ten Conference championship.[21][21] On March 8, Stauskas had a team-high 21 points to help Michigan close out its season with a season-ending 84–80 victory over Indiana.[21] On March 10 Stauskas earned his fourth Big Ten Player of the week award (this time Co-POTW with Shavon Shields).[21] Stauskas's four Player of the Week awards led the Big Ten for the season.[21] At the end of the regular season, he was the only player in the Big Ten to rank among the top 10 for field goal percentage (48.9), three-point percentage (45.8) and free throw percentage (81.1).[71]

On March 22 against Texas in Michigan's second game of the 2014 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, Stauskas had a career-high tying 8 assists as well as a team-high 17 points.[21][21] The 2013–14 team was eliminated in the elite eight round of the 2014 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament by Kentucky as Stauskas led all scorers with 24 points.[21] Stauskas and teammate Caris LeVert, joined Julius Randle, Aaron Harrison and Marcus Lee on the All-Midwest Regional team.[21] The team reached the championship game.

Watchlists and awards

 

On February 13, Stauskas was one of four Big Ten players (along with Keith Appling, Gary Harris and Roy Devyn Marble) who were named to the 30-man Naismith College Player of the Year midseason watchlist.[16][16] On March 8, Stauskas was one of two Big Ten players (along with Harris) listed among the 15 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award.[16]

Stauskas was a 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball All-American second-team selection by the Sporting News.[16][16] Upon being named Sporting News All-American, Stauskas was described as having made the biggest refinements to his game of his fellow honorees by Mike DeCourcy: "Every player on this list, save for the freshmen, made incremental improvements from season to season in order to wind up as an All-American. More than anyone else, Stauskas redefined his game. As a freshman, he primarily was a catch-and-shoot weapon for the Wolverines in their charge to the 2013 NCAA championship game. He became a ballhandler in his second season, attacking defenders with his newly unleashed ability to dribble the ball and penetrate the lane."[16] Stauskas earned third team All-American recognition from USA Today.[16][16] He was a first team All-American selection by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).[33] He was also a second team selection by Sports Illustrated[16] and Bleacher Report,[17] as well as a third team selection by NBC Sports.[17] When Stauskas was named second team All-American by the Associated Press,[17] he became a consensus All-American. Stauskas also earned John R. Wooden Award All-American Team recognition.[17]

Stauskas was the Big Ten Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year and a unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selection by both the coaches and the media, becoming Michigan's fifth B1G player of the year and 2nd consecutive.[71][17] On March 11 Stauskas was named District V (OH, IN, IL, MI, MN, WI) Player of the Year by the United States Basketball Writers Association.[17][17] Stauskas was listed on the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division I All‐District 7 first team on March 12.[17][17] Stauskas was named to the 2014 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament All-Tournament Team.[17]

Statistics

Stauskas's career free throw percentage of 83.16% is second in Michigan history, and his 44.10% three point shot percentage ranks fifth.[144]

YearTeamGPGSMPGFG%3P%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGPPG
2012–13Michigan393330.5.463.440.8513.01.30.60.211.0
2013–14Michigan363635.6.470.442.8242.93.30.60.317.5

Canadian flag

 

University of Michigan junior economics and psychology major James Giardina ordered the first custom maize and blue Canadian flag and waves it at half court during home games.[2] ESPN's Chantel Jennings tweeted a picture of such a flag at Crisler Arena on December 4, 2012.[12] One of her followers noted that the big version on the wall was a general fan flag and that a little version of the flag were added next to it for each three pointer he made in the game.[12] By mid-December of his freshman season, the student in the Maize Rage (Michigan Wolverines men's basketball student section at Crisler Arena) had begun cheering Stauskas on with such a flag.[12] The Michigan Public & Media Relations office started mentioning the flag before Christmas.[12] The flag was mentioned widely in the press as he continued his hot shooting into January.[12][12]

Professional career

2014 NBA draft

Discussion about him entering the 2014 NBA draft began when he got hot in January 2014 and his father told Sports Illustrated, "He knows all he has to do is keep his nose to the grindstone for another couple of months, and there’s a really good possibility he might be able to go Pro."[12] However, a few days later, Stauskas attempted to distance himself from his father's statements and apologized to his fans.[12] Following the season, Stauskas, who was regarded as a likely late first round selection, said he would need some time to process his decision and that he would make his decision after talking to his coaches and family.[12] On April 6, Stauskas said he would make his decision within the next week or so.[13] On April 7, David Aldridge rated Stauskas as the number one potential draft entrant among shooting guards (ahead of Harris, James Young, and Andrew Harrison) and a late lottery selection.[13] Others agree that Stauskas is a likely late lottery selection.[13][13] Stauskas and teammates McGary and Robinson all submitted evaluation requests to the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee which must respond by April 14, giving the players until April 27 to make themselves eligible for the draft if they so choose.[13] On April 10, reports emerged that Stauskas had decided to go pro, but he denied he had made a decision.[13] The reports were based on rumors that Stauskas had decided to hire Mark Bartelstein as his agent. Bartelstein is the father of former Michigan teammate Josh Bartelstein, and agent for former teammate Tim Hardaway, Jr.[13] On April 15, in a joint press conference with Robinson on the Big Ten Network,[13] Stauskas declared for the 2014 NBA draft.[13] During his two years with Michigan, the school enjoyed its winningest two-year stretch in school history marked by a total of 59 wins.[79] Of Michigan's prior 14 early NBA draft entrants, 10 were selected in the first round and 3 in the second.[144] Stauskas did sign with Bartelstein (along with teammate McGary).[20][20] On May 5, Stauskas threw out the ceremonial first pitch for the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.[20]

At the May NBA Draft Combine, Stauskas opted to sit out of the shooting drills, but did elect to participate in official anthropometric measurements, strength/agility drills and team meetings.[20] Stauskas participated in strength and agility testing along with 13 shooting guards, finishing fifth in running vertical jump, sixth in standing vertical leap, seventh in the shuttle run, ninth in the three-quarter court sprint and 11th in the lane agility drill.[20][20] Stauskas was drafted 8th overall by the Sacramento Kings.[20] He is the highest Michigan selection since Jamal Crawford went 8th in the 2000 NBA draft.[20] With teammates McGary and Robinson also being drafted, it marked the first time Michigan had at least three draft picks since the 1990 NBA draft.[20] With Burke and Hardaway having been drafted the year before, every player that started in the 2013 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship Game was drafted either in the 2013 or 2014 NBA draft.[20]

Stauskas committed to represent the Sacramento Kings in 2014 NBA Summer League.[21] Although Stauskas is expected to be an NBA shooting guard, he will be vying with 2013 NBA Draft number 8 overall selection Ben McLemore for playing time. Since the two may be on the court at the same time, Stauskas is expected to play some point guard in the Summer League as preparation for regular season possibilities.[21] He posted a video of his preparation for the 2014 NBA Summer League.[21][21]

Sacramento Kings (2014–2015)

On July 8, 2014, Stauskas signed a rookie scale contract with the Sacramento Kings.[21] During the 2014 NBA Summer League Stauskas was a starting member of the Summer League Champions.[21] In the 2014–15 NBA.com Rookie Survey at the annual Rookie Photo Shoot on August 6, Stauskas was named by his peers as the second best shooter in the Rookie class behind Doug McDermott.[21] During his rookie pre-season, he got a lot of publicity for the statement "I understand that I’m a rookie and I’m white, so people are going to attack me" because of stereotypes about race and his unproven and presumably weak defensive skills.[21] Stauskas was surprised by the attention the statement received.[21] In his first week in the league, he had a 3-block game against the Los Angeles Clippers.[21] On December 8 in his first game against Utah and former teammate and fellow Big Ten Player of the Year Burke, Stauskas posted career highs of 15 points and 8 rebounds.[22] Stauskas again posted 15 points against the New York Knicks and former Michigan teammate Hardaway on March 3.[22] On March 24, he received the nickname "Sauce Castillo" via social media after a closed captioning error.[22][22] Stauskas started in the Kings' April 15 season finale against the Los Angeles Lakers and tallied 5 assists.[22] It was his first and only start of the season.[22]

Philadelphia 76ers (2015–present)

Image
 
Stauskas (#11) while with Michigan in 2014

On July 10, 2015, Stauskas was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers along with Carl Landry, Jason Thompson, a future first round pick, and the rights to swap first round picks in 2016 and 2017, in exchange for the rights to Artūras Gudaitis and Luka Mitrović.[22] During the preseason, Stauskas was impaired by a right tibia stress reaction.[22] Although he felt recovered from the stress reaction by the beginning of the season, he missed the October 28 season opener with back spasms.[22] The 2015–16 76ers team played no players over the age of 24 or with more than 3 years of NBA experience on opening night.[22] Stauskas joined the young team's rotation in October 30 against the Utah Jazz with a 12-point debut performance.[23] Stauskas moved into the starting lineup on November 2 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.[23][23] He posted a career-high tying 15 points against his idol LeBron James.[23][23] On November 7, Stauskas posted a career-high 18 points and career-high tying five assists against the Orlando Magic.[23] He tallied at least 12 points in each of his first five games of action for Philadelphia.[23]

However, by mid November, Stauskas was deep in a shooting slump.[23][23] He was scoreless in back-to-back starts, going 0-for-10 (0–5 3 point shots) combined against the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks on November 14 and 16. Fortunately for Stauskas, his backup, Isaiah Canaan, was in a simultaneous slump, going 3-for-20 in the same games.[23][21][21] However, Stauskas had a left knee contusion on November 23 against the Minnesota Timberwolves and was sidelined for the second half and the subsequent three-game road trip.[21][21] He missed only one game and returned to the lineup on November 27 in limited minutes off the bench.[21][21] On December 1, Stauskas and the 76ers defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 103–91. The win ended the longest losing streak in the history of major professional sports in the United States (28 games going back to the prior season) and the worst start in NBA history (tied with the 2009–10 New Jersey Nets at 0–18).[21] Stauskas went scoreless in 4 consecutive appearances between December 16 and 22.[21] He then did not play on December 23 when the 76ers played against the Milwaukee Bucks.[21] When the 76ers defeated the Phoenix Suns in new point guard Ish Smith's first game with the team for their second win of the season (snapping a 12-game losing streak and a 23-game road losing streak) on December 26, Stauskas was coming off the bench and contributed 17 points.[21] As Stauskas endured an up and down season, he became Kendall Marshall's father's target of blame for Marshall's lack of playing time on January 2.[29] That night against the Los Angeles Clippers, Stauskas posted 18 points on 6–8 three point shooting.[29] Stauskas returned to the starting lineup for the 76ers on January 4 against the Timberwolves for the 76ers 4th win of the season.[29] However, he was injured in overtime of the January 15 contest against the Chicago Bulls and missed three games before returning to the lineup on January 25 against the Boston Celtics.[29][29] Stauskas scored 18 points again on March 15 against the Brooklyn Nets.[29] Stauskas established a new career high on March 18 against the Oklahoma City Thunder, scoring 23 points.[29][29]

After the first week of the 2016–17 NBA season, the 76ers exercised the fourth-year team option.[29] On November 19, 2016, Stauskas scored 21 points, while shooting 8-for-9 in a 120–105 win over the Phoenix Suns.[29] He posted a career-high 24 points on 4-for-7 three point shooting on March 4 in a 136–106 loss to Detroit.[256] On March 20 against Orlando and March 22 against Oklahoma City, Stauskas reached 20 points in consecutive contests for the first time in his NBA career.[257]

International career

Stauskas played for Canada in the 2009 FIBA Americas Under-16 Championship held in Argentina. He helped lead the Canadian junior national team to a bronze medal, which qualified them for the 2010 FIBA Under-17 World Championship. He averaged 9.4 points per game in the tournament,[223] including a game-high 21 points in a 126–78 loss against the United States team led by Bradley Beal and James Michael McAdoo on June 20, 2009.[224] First overall 2013 NBA draft pick Anthony Bennett was one of Stauskas' teammates in the tournament. Stauskas was later invited to train with the Canadian senior national team.[225]

He represented Canada at the 2015 FIBA Americas Championship,[226] contributing 111 points in 9 games—including 18-for-36 three point shooting,[227] but did not play in the team's final game.[228] Food poisoning had impaired him in the semifinal loss against Venezuela,[229] and the illness caused him to miss the bronze medal game against Mexico, which Canada won 87–86.[230]

NBA career statistics

Legend
  GPGames played  GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
 FG% Field goal percentage 3P% 3-point field goal percentage FT% Free throw percentage
 RPG Rebounds per game APG Assists per game SPG Steals per game
 BPG Blocks per game PPG Points per game Bold Career high

Regular season

YearTeamGPGSMPGFG%3P%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGPPG
2014–15Sacramento73115.4.365.322.8591.2.9.3.24.4
2015–16Philadelphia733524.8.385.326.7712.51.9.6.38.5
2016–17Philadelphia802727.4.396.368.8132.82.4.6.49.5
Career2266322.7.386.343.8072.21.7.5.37.5

Personal life

Stauskas is the son of Paul and Ruta Stauskas.[26] His brother's name is Peter.[2] Three of Stauskas's four grandparents lived in Lithuania before World War II. Stauskas previously attended Lithuanian Saturday School in Toronto and is able to understand and speak some Lithuanian.[27] Geographically, Michigan is closer to Stauskas's parents home in Ontario than any other major Division I school, according to Stauskas.[26]

When he tweeted a Christmas Eve 2012 video of himself making 45 of 50 three point shots,[27] Dick Vitale replied 14 minutes later.[27] On April 24, 2013,[27] he posted a video of himself making 70 of 76 three pointers in five minutes, and 8 hours later, Stephen Curry challenged him, via Twitter, to a three-point shooting contest.[27] Curry had set the National Basketball Association single-season three pointers made record one week earlier.[27] The following morning ESPN retweeted the video and noted that Stauskas made 46 in a row.[27] A few hours later, when Stauskas woke up, he said he would look forward to such a contest.[27][27] Soon Stauskas and Curry's representatives arranged to have a showdown televised on TSN, but the contest would have been in violation of NCAA rules against competition between amateur athletes and professional athletes.[27][7]

See also