NBA Draft Recap: Stauskas #8, Beilein Scoops Everyone

Submitted by Ace on June 27th, 2014 at 2:47 PM


via Michael Shamburger

While Michigan didn't quite end up getting their entire starting five from the 2013 national title game into the first round, last night's NBA Draft proved a major success for the program. Here's an overview of what went down last night; next week, I'll take a closer look at how each U-M draftee fits in with his new team.

Nik Stauskas, #8 Overall, Sacramento Kings

Nik Stauskas went off the board at #8 to Sacramento, becoming the highest Wolverine selection since Dallas picked Robert Traylor (RIP) sixth in 1998 before trading him to Milwaukee. Stauskas, resplendent in a suit that probably cost more than my car, immediately celebrated with a perfectly executed three-goggle handshake with his dad. (His subsequent handshake with John Beilein wasn't quite so flawless.)

Afterward, Stauskas was asked about Michigan by someone who clearly never went to Michigan, because Zingerman's is way too expensive for students and the Art Fair takes place when almost nobody is on campus. He handled it well:

Q.  Nik, Michigan is a very good school academically, great campus like Zingerman's, the art festival in Ann Arbor.  Was it an easy decision?  There must be a tough decision to say, I want to leave early, because it is a great school.  Was there part of you that said, I should get my degree here and then go to the NBA? 
NIK STAUSKAS:  I definitely thought about it, but the biggest thing for me after this season was I felt like I was ready.  I thought I had improved enough throughout the year, and I had made a lot of strides in my game and made the necessary improvements to make that jump to the next level. 
Like I said, this has been a dream of mine my entire life.  The fact that I had the opportunity to do it now, I feel like this is the right time.  I understand that I could always go back and get my education after, which I fully plan on doing. 

It's great to hear that Stauskas plans to finish earning his degree down the road. And yes, Nik, you were ready.

In the end, it turned out Stauskas separated himself quite a bit from the two players believed to be his biggest competition as shooting guards projected to go in the mid-to-late lottery. Kentucky's James Young went to the Celtics at #17, while MSU's Gary Harris surprisingly plunged all the way to #19—he'll end up in Denver after a draft-day trade with Chicago.

Mitch McGary, #21 Overall, Oklahoma City Thunder

One of the most entertaining aspects of draft night is watching Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski announce every pick on Twitter well before the actual picks are announced, sometimes getting so far as three picks ahead of the telecast. Rarely does anyone scoop Wojo; when they do, sometimes it's because they're wrong.

So when John Beilein tweeted this out minutes before Oklahoma City selected Mitch McGary at #21 overall, it'd prove to be the second-greatest thing Beilein did last night (TEASER):

John Beilein is better at your job than you are. There's no shame in this. Just accept it.

Meanwhile, MLive's Brendan Quinn passes along this fantastic quote from OKC GM Sam Presti, generally regarded as one of the best in the business:

"The last thing that is really, really impressive to us, and the reason that we value him even more, is that he's an incredible teammate -- just an incredible teammate," Presti said. "That was on display during the season when he missed a significant amount of time.

"I felt like I was scouting him on the bench while he wasn't playing. The way that he engaged with his teammates, his support was unwavering, his enthusiasm was unwavering. Combine that with his skill-set and and his intangibles, and that's a Thunder player."

Yes.

If the Thunder don't use a future pick on Andrew Dakich, I'll be sorely disappointed.

Glenn Robinson III, #40 Overall, Minnesota Timberwolves

Wojo cruelly tweeted that Oklahoma City was considering GRIII with their second pick of the first round, which was not to be. In a really deep draft—Wichita State's Cleanthony Early lasted all the way to #34—he dropped to the tenth pick of the second round, but the team that nabbed him valued him much higher than that:

At GRIII's draft party, his mother took a moment to note that this was the plan all along:

When the waiting was finally over, after the Timberwolves had finished the drama, Clay [Robinson's mother], along with Robinson took the podium.

She read a letter he wrote in high school about how he was going to miss school but that he was onto bigger and better things.

That in a couple of years, he would be playing in the NBA.

He called it.

With Robinson's selection, Michigan—as expected—ended with three players taken in the draft, tied with UCLA for the most among any school. However...

Jordan Morgan, Undrafted Free Agent, Minnesota Timberwolves

...that didn't mean Beilein's night was over. The last person remaining in the green room, Michigan's coach waited out every pick in the hope that a team would take a second-round flier on Jordan Morgan:

John Beilein is the best. The absolute best.

Morgan didn't get picked, but he'll get a chance to earn a roster spot alongside GRIII, as he told Quinn today that he's joining the Timberwolves as an undrafted free agent. He'll get his shot on Minnesota's Summer League squad; they start play on July 12th, and you can find the whole schedule here. Even if Morgan doesn't get a spot on the Timberwolves, it's a great opportunity for him to audition for other NBA teams and scouts from other leagues.

How About The Pistons?

While Detroit lost their first-round pick (don't ask, or this vein in my head starts doing funny things), they used their second-rounder on Colorado guard Spencer Dinwiddie, considered a potential first-round prospect last year before coming back to school and suffering an ACL injury. How would I grade the pick?


via @Jose3030

A+.

Comments

Yinka Double Dare

June 27th, 2014 at 3:15 PM ^

I suspect that while Zingermans is probably too expensive as you note, I think a fair number of athletes are actually around over the summer, working out, taking a class to reduce their load during the season, etc.;

samdrussBLUE

June 27th, 2014 at 3:30 PM ^

Just noticed this- but Tom Izzo in the background of Nik's GIF (right side by Nik's back near the end) makes this just a bit sweeter.  He has part smile/part smirk/part motherfucker look on his face

Ron Utah

June 27th, 2014 at 4:06 PM ^

What a great coach.  If DB's assessment of Hoke is that he is in the same vein, I hope both are coaches at U-M forever.  Yes, forever.  The U-M medical school can surely figure out a way to do that.

That said, Beilein has proven he has the character and can get the results...Hoke has work to do.

champswest

June 27th, 2014 at 4:57 PM ^

Nik's suit causing him to lean in a little closer than he thought he actually was.

Congratulations to all of our guys, Coach Beilein and staff and the University of Michigan.  The factory rolls on.

HAIL 2 VICTORS

June 27th, 2014 at 5:06 PM ^

Bittersweet.

From the moment this call was blown it has all been bittersweet.

What if McGary was healthy this year.

What if McGary came back for his Junior year.

What if GRIII stayed one more year with McGary to play into the first round.

Excited but wonder what might have been and just so close.

rob f

June 27th, 2014 at 6:52 PM ^

all through Ace's write-up and in the gifs and pictures, especially regarding Coach Beilein.  But I just can't stop watching McGary and Dakich leading the entire bench in spirit and enthusiasm vs. Tennessee...over...and over...and over again.

The Pope

June 27th, 2014 at 8:18 PM ^

Stauskas is a great fit with Sacramento. As a Kings fan, I was thinking they really needed someone to space the floor for DMC and Gay, and now they have him. They also just got a lot better in the pick n roll. Nik will thrive there as he gets tons of open looks from doubles on Big Cuz.

moosmanthasnappa

June 27th, 2014 at 9:15 PM ^

Michigan basketball has faced over the years, it feels so great to have an amazing coach at the helm in Beilein. Not only has he developed some really good talent, he has also built a solid staff. Cheers to the many great seasons ahead for this program.