Celtics Sign Ex-No. 8 Overall Pick Sharpshooter

Boston Celtics latest shooter Nik Stauskas

Getty Boston Celtics latest shooter Nik Stauskas

The Boston Celtics moved to add more shooting to their roster on March 3, signing Nik Stauskas to a two-year deal according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

As Wojnarowski pointed out in his tweet, Stauskas has recently put his name in the shop window following some impressive performances in the G-League for the Grand Rapids Gold. The former eighth overall pick in the 2014 draft is coming off the back of an incredible shooting week that saw him drop 100 points over two back-to-back games in the G-League.

Throughout 14 games this season, Stauskas has averaged 26 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per contest, shooting 46.6% from three and 51.4% from the floor. The Mississauga native is no stranger to NBA competition, having spent time with the Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Portland Trail Blazers, Cleveland Cavaliers, and most recently, the Milwaukee Bucks.

Unfortunately, the sharpshooter has often found himself bouncing from team to team, but he is a reliable shooter from deep, hitting 35.4% from the field in his career thus far.

Celtics Add More Shooting

The Celtics currently sit 22nd in the NBA for three-point percentage, so it was clear they needed to target shooters with their available roster spots. After creating some roster space around the February 10 trade deadline, Brad Stevens moved to convert Luke Kornet and Sam Hauser’s contracts into full NBA deals – both of those players are known for their ability to hit shots from deep, especially the latter.

Stevens then added Matt Ryan to the Celtics squad via a two-way deal after the six-foot-seven wing impressed in the G-League. But, Stevens seems hellbent on ensuring Ime Udoka has enough shooting specialists to keep the team afloat when needed, and Stauskas fit the bill, especially due to his previous experiences in the NBA and not needing to learn on the job.

Boston does have some valuable shooters in their core rotation too. Grant Williams, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Payton Pritchard, and to a lesser extent Marcus Smart, Aaron Nesmith, and Derrick White are all known commodities within the league.

But none of those players are single-skill specialists like Hauser or Stauskas, and sometimes having a player who is exceptional at one singular aspect of the game can be important to your roster construction.

Stauskas Brings NBA Experience

A common gripe when discussing Ime Udoka’s rotations is his seeming unwillingness to play younger players for extended minutes. Both Pritchard and Nesmith have found themselves glued to the bench for stretches of the season, while the likes of Dennis Schroder and even Enes Freedom had extended runs.

Stauskas comes with multiple years of NBA experience, so he should quickly bypass Udoka’s concerns about gifting younger players developmental minutes. As such, of all the Celtics’ recent additions, it’s their latest one that projects to see meaningful minutes if he can contribute

If the former Michigan standout can hit his open looks at a league-average clip or better, and remain competitive on the defensive side of the floor, there’s no reason why his stay in Boston can’t become a successful one.

Fit and situation play a large role in a player’s chances of succeeding on a team, and right now the Celtics are screaming for additional shooting help – Stauskas is that guy, so hopefully, we will see this partnership between player and team begin to bear fruit in the coming weeks and months.


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