The Sixers may have taken Nik Stauskas with their second first-rounder during the 2014 draft if the sharpshooter was there, but the team is happy to have the guard on the roster now, Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun reports (Twitter links). “He’s been good. I think his upside is high. I think the bounce and the athleticism has always intrigued us,” coach Brett Brown said. Philadelphia instead took Elfrid Payton with the No. 10 overall pick and traded him to Orlando for the rights to Dario Saric and a future first-rounder.
Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- Prior to the 2015 draft, Christian Wood believed he could have been selected as high as No. 13 by the Suns and that he wouldn’t fall past the Grizzlies at No. 25, but the forward understands why that didn’t happen, Jake Fischer of SI.com writes. “Memphis told me how much they liked me,” Wood said. “A lot of NBA teams didn’t want to take the risk. Some teams thought I was lazy, some teams thought I didn’t give effort 100% all of the time. I think that played a big part into it.” Wood signed a four-year, partially guaranteed deal with the Sixers before the season started.
- The Nets will send their first round pick this season to the Celtics as a result of the Kevin Garnett trade and with the team struggling so far, the pick is looking like it will be a top selection. While sending that kind of asset to a division rival isn’t ideal, Brooklyn shouldn’t sacrifice any more future assets in order to improve the team this season and therefore send a worse asset to Boston, Tim Bontemps of the New York Post opines. Bontemps notes that Brooklyn could have close to $40MM in cap space next summer, so while the team may endure a down season, it’ll have an opportunity to make a quick turnaround.
- Kristaps Porzingis has exceeded expectations for the Knicks and some around the league are comparing him to Dirk Nowitzki, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. “That kid is going to be a heck of a player,’’ said Raptors coach Dwane Casey, who coached Nowitzki for three seasons. “He’s long — nowhere near Dirk yet. But he’s Dirk-like from his length, his range with his 3-point shot. He’s fearless and he’s long and a rebounder. He rebounds with his length. He’s going to be a force to be reckoned with in this league for a long time.’’