Pistons Palace NBA mock draft post lottery

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12. Orlando Magic

Nik Stauskas, SG, Michigan

After taking Dante Exum with the number four pick in the first round, it’d make a lot of sense for the Magic to find their pure shooter that can play multiple positions and even get to the rim at times.

Mar 30, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan Wolverines guard Nik Stauskas (11) shoots against the Kentucky Wildcats in the second half of the finals of the midwest regional of the 2014 NCAA Mens Basketball Championship tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

That’s what separates Nik Stauskas from Doug McDermott and makes him a more likely target for Orlando.

The growth of Stauskas’ game over the last two seasons has been tremendous to watch. Given the keys to the team with Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. moving on to the NBA, the guard flourished in his leadership role, while at the same time improving his game.

He isn’t just a shooting guard with a good stroke anymore. Given freedom on the floor, he’s become one of the top ball handlers in this draft class. Nobody ever realized his handle until midway through the season.

ESPN draft analyst Chad Ford was impressed with Stauskas’ overall game at a recent workout in Chicago before the NBA Draft Combine. Ford says that shots are logged every day in the gym. Most players  hoist up 100 three pointers a day. Stauskas makes 85% of those shots on average.

It would be interesting to see how Stauskas would fit in with Victor Oladipo and Dante Exum, but he is sound enough defensively where he could play small forward on some nights. Would you want to put him up against LeBron James?

Not particularly.

Mo Harkless can help out defensively though in key situations off the bench, or Stauskas could provide a spark offensively off the bench as well.

Orlando will need to replace Arron Afflalo — their only true deep threat from a year ago.

Stauskas nailed 44% of his three point attempts the last two seasons.

Seems like a fit.