Sacramento Kings narrowed down 2014 draft pick to Nik Stauskas and Elfrid Payton
Grantland shared a teaser clip for the conclusion of their mini-documentary on the Kings’ use of crowdsourcing in this year’s draft. Based on the clip, it appears the Kings narrowed their choices down to Stauskas and Orlando Magic rookie Elfrid Payton.
Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro stated there was “deep discussion” centered around Stauskas and Payton. The 20-year-old guard out of Louisiana-Lafayette would’ve certainly addressed their need for defense in their backcourt. But when it came down to it, they believe they went with the prospect that was more talented.
“We felt Nik was the best player at this position where we were,” D’Alessandro said. “So when you get right down to it those guys, they’re both very impressive kids and we really liked both of them. But in the end, we have to pick the player that’s best and we’re proud that we got Nik.”
Stauskas is a player that one of D’Alessandro’s closest advisors has had his eyes on for quite some time. D’Alessandro credits Kings assistant GM Mike Bratz with putting Stauskas on his radar. Like Stauskas, Bratz was also responsible for discovering point guard Ray McCallum, who the Kings picked in the second round of last year’s draft.
There was little divide among the Kings front office, coaching staff and ownership on the decision to pick Stauskas. Kings head coach Michael Malone has long been a fan of his team’s new shooting guard. And based on the video shown above, it’s clear that Kings chairman Vivek Ranadivé had no qualms about investing a lottery pick on the former Michigan Wolverine.
“In every war room, there’s always a little faction that’s saying this or that, someone’s not really happy,” D’Alessandro said. “But I think on that night we were all pretty happy.”