Sixers acquire Nik Stauskas, 1st round pick from Kings

Updated: Thursday, July 2, 2015 04:10 AM
Nik Stauskas

Late last night, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports broke the news that the Sixers and Kings had made a trade where the Kings would trade Nik Stauskas, Carl Landry, and Jason Thompson to the Sixers.

The Kings made the move to clear out salary in an effort to pursue free agents, as the trade sheds Sacramento of about $15.8 million in salary commitments for this upcoming season.

Both Landry and Thompson are signed through 2016-17. Landry’s contract is fully guaranteed at $6.5 million for 2016-17, and $2.65 million of Thompson’s $6.825 million contract is guaranteed for next year.

2015-16 is the last guaranteed season under Stauskas’ rookie deal, with Stauskas slated to earn $2,689,440 this season. Stauskas has a team option for just over $2.9 million for 2016-17. The Sixers will have to decide to pick up that option by the end of October.

In return, the Sixers are sending the rights to Arturas Gudaitis, selected 47th in the 2015 NBA draft, and Luka Mitrovic, the 60th pick in last week’s draft, per ESPN’s Pablo Torre.

Sixers get draft picks

The Sixers will also acquire a future protected 1st round pick from Sacramento, as well as the right to swap 1st round picks with the Kings in 2016 and 2017, according to a league source.

The protected 1st round pick the Sixers will acquire from the Kings cannot be conveyed until 2018 at the earliest, as the Kings currently owe Chicago a 1st round pick. The pick Sacramento owes to Chicago is top-10 protected in 2016. If the pick is not conveyed in 2016 then it becomes top-10 protected again in 2017. If the pick is still not conveyed in 2017 then the pick turns into Sacramento’s 2017 2nd round pick.

According to Zach Lowe, the 1st round pick the Sixers receive is top-10 protected in 2018. If the pick isn’t conveyed in 2018 it then becomes top-10 protected in 2019. If the pick is still not conveyed at the 2019 draft, the pick then becomes unprotected in 2020.

Because of league rules, dubbed the Stepien rule, the pick Sacramento trades to Philadelphia must be 2 years after when the Kings either send the pick to Chicago or the pick can no longer be conveyed.

The Sixers will also have the right to swap 1st round pick with the Kings in both 2016 and 2017. In essence, the Sixers will get whichever of the Sixers or the Kings draft pick ends up being higher in the draft. This does not apply to any other pick that the Sixers own (i.e., the Sixers can’t get the better of the OKC pick or the Kings pick. The only get the rights to swap their own pick for Sacramento’s pick).

Sixers GetKings Get
- Nik Stauskas
- Carl Landry
- Jason Thompson
- 2018 1st round pick (top-10 protected)
- Right to swap 1st rd pick w/Kings in '16
- Right to swap 1st rd pick w/Kings in '17
- Rights to Arturas Gudaitis (47th pick in 2015)
- Rights to Luka Mitrovic (60th pick in 2015)

If the Kings convey their draft pick to Chicago in 2016 (which means it would fall outside of the top-10), then the Sixers will not have the option of swapping picks in 2016. If the Kings pick does fall in the top-10 then the Sixers will have the right to swap their own pick for the Kings pick.

If the Kings pick does not convey to Chicago in 2016 then the same situation presents itself in 2017: If the pick falls outside of the top-10 in 2017, the pick will go to Chicago. If not, the Sixers will have the right to swap picks with Sacramento once again.

On face value, the pick swap may not seem important, as the Kings are projected to be a better team than the Sixers. However, two things to keep in mind:

First, the Kings are playing in the tough Western Conference and are in a volatile state. Just over the last week there have been rumors that the Kings could trade their franchise player and that they could move on from the coach they just hired in February. A lot can happen between now and the 2016 draft, much less the 2017 draft, which is almost a full 2 years away.

Second, even if the Sixers end up with a worse record than the Kings over the next two seasons there is still a pretty good chance that Sacramento ends up in the top-10 both years. In this scenario, the Sixers are essentially getting free ping pong balls.

Let’s look at it from this past year’s perspective, where the Sixers finished with the 3rd worst record and the Kings 6th. On face value, the Sixers wouldn’t benefit here, as the Sixers had a worse record than the Kings. However, the actual impact is that the Sixers would, in essence*, get extra ping pong balls, benefiting in the chance that Sacramento would move up.

(* essentially because, while the Sixers would most likely benefit from Sacramento moving up, if Sacramento moves up, but the Sixers move up higher, the Sixers don’t benefit. i.e. if the Sixers end up at #1 and the Kings ending up at #2, the Kings jump won’t benefit the Sixers).

With the 3rd worst record the Sixers would have 156 lottery balls, or a 15.6% chance at the top pick. The Kings would have 63 lottery balls for a 6.3% chance. The Sixers chance at the #1 pick would go up from 15.6% to 21.9%.

The benefit becomes even more pronounced when looking at a top-3 pick. With the 3rd worst record, the Sixers had a 46.9% chance at a top-3 pick last year. With the right to swap picks with Sacramento, however, that jumps to a 61.2% chance of happening. Those increased odds in each of the next two drafts could be a big benefit.

Odds with...#1 overall pickTop 3 pick
Without pick swap15.6%46.9%
With pick swap21.9%61.2%
Odds of how the Sixers chances at a top pick change if they have a pick swap with Sacramento available. This hypothetical assumes Philadelphia ends up with the 3rd worst record and Sacramento ends up with the 6th worst record, and that no tiebreakers are involved.


Another benefit of the pick swap could be if the league decides to pass lottery reform, the most likely form of which would be to flatten the lottery odds and give teams later in the lottery a better chance of moving up. The last proposal was to have the 4 worst teams in the league have an 11% chance at the top pick, the 5th worst a 10% chance, and small declines from there. The proposal would have also had the top 6 picks in the lottery drawn for, whereas only the top 3 picks currently are.

Having the right to swap picks, which in this scenario would have a higher chance of happening than under the current system, helps the Sixers mitigate the risk such fundamental changes to the lottery would have on their ability to acquire top talent in the draft.

I have updated the future draft pick tracker to reflect these changes.

How it impacts the Sixers salary cap

The addition of Landry ($6.5 million), Thompson ($6.4 million), Stauskas ($2.87 million), and Okafor* (3.8 million at the rookie scale) bring the Sixers current salary commitments to just under $49.5 million. With the cap projected to be $69 million for this season, the Sixers still have roughly $20 million in salary cap space, and are still over $12 million from the salary cap floor, which is defined as 90% of the cap. The Sixers current salary commitments and cap calculation will be included at the bottom of this post.

(* Okafor’s salary used in this calculation is for 100% of the rookie scale, which is set at $3,818,900 for the 3rd pick in the 2015 NBA draft. Once this contract is actually signed it will likely be for more than that, however, as rookies typically get 120% of the rookie scale. Because of this reason, the Sixers will likely wait until the season approaches to sign Okafor, as they will essentially have $750k of “extra” cap space until they sign him. I explained that a bit last year). 

The players the Sixers received

Landry, who will turn 32 this fall, averaged 7.2 points and 3.8 rebounds in 17 minutes per game this past season. Thompson will turn 29 later this month and averaged 6.1 points and 6.5 rebounds in just over 24 minutes per game. Both Landry and Thompson are frontcourt players in a suddenly very deep Philadelphia frontcourt rotation.

In terms of players acquired, Nik Stauskas, just drafted 8th overall 12 months ago, was likely the main target. Stauskas struggled during his one season in Sacramento, averaging only 4.4 points in 15 minutes per game while shooting 36.5% from the floor and 32.2% from three point range. He did show some signs in the 2nd half of the season, averaging 6.6 points in 19.4 minutes per game after the All-Star break, while shooting a much more respectable 41.8% overall and 42.1% from three point range.

Time PeriodMPGPPGFG%3pt%
Before All-Star Break16:004.436.6%31.1%
After All-Star break17:205.841.8%42.1%

Stauskas averaged 17.5 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game during his sophomore season at Michigan, shooting 44.1% on 390 three point attempts over the course of his 2 year college career.

Stauskas’ shot chart was largely filled with shots either at the rim or from beyond the three point line in college, something that is sure to appeal to Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie.

Stauskas shot chart – sophomore season at Michigan



(data courtesy of

Stauskas’ shot chart, at least in terms of distribution, looked largely similar during his first season in the NBA. The drop in efficiency in some of the areas (the corner 3, especially) could be low sample size (and rookie adjustment) noise, especially since he improved from 3 in the 2nd half of the season. The most concerning drop off in efficiency would definitely be his inability to finish at the rim during his one season in the NBA.

Stauskas’ shot chart – rookie season with Kings



(data courtesy of

No word yet on whether Stauskas will be able to play in either the Utah (July 6th-9th) or Vegas (July 10th-20th) summer leagues.

Sixers 2015-16 salary cap calcuation

Player2015-16 Salary
JaVale McGee$12,000,000 *Waived
Carl Landry$6,500,000
Jason Thompson$6,752,812
Joel Embiid$4,626,960
Jahlil Okafor$3,818,900
Nerlens Noel$3,457,800
Furkan Aldemir$3,000,000
Nik Stauskas$2,869,440
Tony Wroten$2,179,354
Robert Covington$1,000,000
Isaiah Canaan$947,276
Hollis Thompson$947,276
JaKarr Sampson$845,059
Jerami Grant$845,059
Cap Space: ~$19.17 million
Space under cap floor:~$12.25 million
The Sixers salary commitments for the 2015-16 season, as of July 2nd, 2015.

Stauskas’ reaction

Update: July 2nd, 10:11 am – Updated cap figure

According to Mark Deeks of ShamSports, Jason Thompson has a 5% trade kicker, which drops the Sixers cap space by ~$321,562. I’ve updated the table accordingly.


Derek Bodner

Derek Bodner is a credentialed reporter covering the Philadelphia 76ers independently for He is also a college basketball scout for, and an NBA contributor for The Ringer. Contact Information: / @DerekBodnerNBA

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  • I know he was pretty hyped when he was drafted but he got lost in Sacramento.

    I’m guessing he becomes the teams best outside shooter by default at this point?

    You go Kings, you clear cap room for Rajon Rondo, that’s a good idea.

  • hart

    Small quibbles:

    Jason Thompson $6,431,250
    should be:
    Jason Thompson $6,752,812.50 (Which cuts $321,562.50 of cap room) He has a 5% TK.

    Also, while it is possible for Philly to not have Saric’s cap hold, doing so would require Saric and Philly agreeing in writing that he will not play in the NBA this season. In contrast, they can not do that and when the season starts the cap hold will drop. However, at that time Okafor will be $763,780 higher, so there is not really a moment in time that reflects these numbers unless Philly binds themselves with Saric in a way I doubt they would. Long and short being I would carry the $1,803,400 cap hold and wait until it naturally drops at the start of the season.

    And while I am quibbling, 69m sounded the upper end of the revised range. I might have missed something new, but how likely is a full 69m versus something more like 68.5? I have no idea what figure to use here.

    Anyway, great stuff, and even if you take all of them you are looking around 17m (17.5m?) now, 18m (18.5m?) when the season starts and Saric’s hold gets flipped for Okafor’s bigger actual salary.

    • Derek Bodner

      Do you have a source for a 5% TK? I hadn’t seen that anywhere, although I only checked basketball-reference and basketballinsiders.

      RE: Saric. I’m just not including it unless I know for a fact it should be included. I basically try to list out known cap hits. And, to be honest, if the Sixers need that cap room, they can get that agreement in writing since it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion. Even if they don’t have that cap space now, it’s a pretty irrelevant distinction.

      RE: $69 million. I don’t have a real source. I remember seeing the figure on my twitter timeline. Not the best source, but I was writing at 4 am, and to my knowledge there is no exact figure given out at the moment.

      • Derek Bodner

        Nevermind, found the 5% TK on shamsports. Thanks for the heads up, I’ve updated the post.

        • hart

          Fun twist being that now Thompson is the highest paid Sixer still on the roster, edging out Landry by that TK.

      • hart

        For the cap the reference was mostly:

        “the actual cap is expected to come in at least $1 million higher, and perhaps as much as $2 million higher, two people familiar with the matter said. The official number won’t be set until July 8, when league audits will be completed at the end of the league’s moratorium period on free-agent signings.”

        So, 69.1m is the upper end, 68.1m the lower end of the new projections was my takeaway, and I went for the mid ground of 68.5. Wouldn’t surprise me if it is a full 69, but I would rather see teh Sixers cap revised up than down.

        In terms of Saric, I think when figuring out what Philly has to take on deals there is a real cost to locking Saric out of a late/strange buyout deal. There is a (imo) solid argument that it is very comparable to the cost of waiving Jakarr Sampson to get the extra 320k in cap space that cutting him would give (or full 845 if Philly keeps bringing in players). But yeah, if a deal needs it I’m sure they would give up the slimmest (and I mean super slim) chance. However, the cap hit is currently there.

  • In your discussion of the ping pong balls, you say “With the 3rd pick the Sixers would have 156 lottery balls.” But the third pick isn’t the third pick until after the lottery has occurred.

    I think you mean that “With the 3rd worst record the Sixers would have 156 lottery balls.”

  • Sacramento misses out on one of their reported targets as Monta Ellis signs with the Pacers (reportedly for slightly less money than the Kings offered). The Kings ownership might see this as missing out, I however think it’s a blessing in disguise for them.

  • Derek is there anyway to take a deeper look at that shot scatter chart for Stauskas regarding open, off the dribble, covered, etc…especially pre and post all star break. I’m as interested in the types of shots he’s taking (missing and making) as to where they’re from.

    I expect there’s some synergy sports magic that could tell you this but I’ve never been good at using that stuff.

    • Derek Bodner

      not with shotanalytics (who makes those pretty charts), no.

      • hart

        I see him as 42/87 of 3’s with 5 feet or more of room.

        6/59 on 3’s with less than 5 feet of room.

        Out of those 59, he went 5/46 on shots with 0 dribbles.

        So, basically his contested catch and shoot was all sorts of awful.

        (is there a way to embed a shot chart in a comment? If so how, i’m internet illiterate)

        • hart

          here goes a try …

          • hart

          • hart

            Okay I give up trying those tags

            Link hopefully works:


            • Thanks for that hart – i’ll add it to my list of things on my project once i get the json figured out on 🙂

            • Sharksbreath

              Hart. Great info. What site or software are you using to make that shot chart.

        • Derek Bodner

          Said it over at LB, but thanks again. Never heard of that site.

  • What happens if McGee signs with another team? Would the Sixers cap hit be reduced by his new salary?

    • hart

      Not until after the season.

  • If the sixers can get a league average point guard I have to think they have a chance at being better than the kings next year?

  • Hey Derek, can you whisper into Hinkies ear to look to trade for Darren Collison. He’s unhappy in Sacramento with the new rondo, and bellinelli signings, he’s cheap at 5mil per, and he’s entering his prime. He’s a pass first pg, who can shoot, facilitate, doesn’t turn it over a lot, and take over a game, if needed. I would absolutely love to have him. He can guide this young front court, and groom a rookie pg next season…. It’s perfect!!

  • Copper34

    Derek – that was one of the best break-downs of a trade I have ever read … in any sport … ever …