The Kings surprised a lot of people this past summer when they chose to draft Nik Stauskas with the 8th pick, especially over more highly touted players like Noah Vonleh or Elfrid Payton. Stauskas' selection also came a year after the Kings took another Shooting Guard, Ben McLemore, in the lottery. Still, Stauskas was seen as a favorite by both the front office and the coaching staff due to his shooting ability and the sense that he could help the Kings right away.
Unfortunately for Nik, his rookie season has been far from steady. He's averaging just 3.6 points a game in 14.1 minutes and shooting just 33.1% from the field and 27.2% from three. Not all hope is lost for Nik, as the Kings have McLemore right there as an example of just how much a player can improve in just a year.
Still, a report from Ken Berger of CBSSports indicates that the Kings have decided to put Stauskas on the market in order to try to find a big man complement for DeMarcus Cousins. From Berger's piece:
Determined to find an upgrade to complement inside force DeMarcus Cousins, the Sacramento Kings are seeking frontcourt help in a trade and are willing to discuss first-round pick Nik Stauskas in the deal, league sources told CBSSports.com.
The Kings want to pair Cousins with a frontline player who would fit with his post-up skills -- either a stretch four or above-the-rim defender, sources said. They've fielded numerous calls about Stauskas, whose opportunities have been limited with the steadily improving play of Ben McLemore.
Berger notes that by including the expiring contracts of Derrick Williams and Reggie Evans in such a deal, the Kings could be looking at acquiring someone making between $10-11 million a year. Berger also notes that the Kings have been trying to trade current starting Power Forward Jason Thompson, but his deal doesn't become as valuable until after this season, as only part of his final year is guaranteed.
It should be noted that the Kings had the opportunity to trade the 8th pick for the 16th and 19th picks, as well as a 2015 2nd rounder on draft day this summer and failed to do so. Those picks ended up becoming Jusuf Nurkic and Gary Harris in a trade that the Bulls made for 11th pick Doug McDermott.