While the Sixers were off last night, the basketball world was still wide awake. It was a somewhat surprising name that was making waves as a former member of the Process era Sixers, Nik Stauskas, exploded for a legendary performance in the G-league. While suited up for the Grand Rapids Gold, Stauskas caught fire and ended the game with 57 points and shot 11 of 15 on three-point attempts.
The former Michigan standout made his mark in the G-league and Grand Rapid Gold record books by setting a variety of records with this red-hot performance. Stauskas set a team and personal career-high with 57 points in this matchup. This also ties for the 6th highest scoring total in G-league history, and the 11 made three-pointers are tied for the 5th most in league history. The sniper also became the second player in G-league history to score 24+ points in a quarter on a 100% shooting percentage and set the record for most points scored in a half (38).
The Process Era
The man who was humbly referred to as “Sauce Castillo” was a part of some darker days of Sixers basketball. Similar to many of the players the Sixers targeted at this time, Nik Satuskas was a high-profile player who did not work out in his first stop. After being the number 8 overall pick in the 2014 draft, Stauskas spent just one season with the Kings before being traded to Philly.
The 6’6 guard spent three seasons with the Sixers, which was his longest tenure with an NBA team. During this time, he averaged 8.7 points and 2.6 rebounds and shot 34.7% on 4.3 three-point attempts per game. Stauskas started 62 of the 159 games he spent with the Sixers and also had multiple 20 plus performances with the team.
Time Outside the Sixers
After the three years he spent with the Sixers, Nik Stauskas has bounced around a decent bit. He has spent time with four other NBA teams (Nets, Trail Blazers, Cavs, and Heat) as well as several stints in the G-league. He also spent the 2019-20 season playing in the Euroleague with Saski Baskonie.
Nik Stuaskas has played 2 games in the NBA this year with the Miami Heat and also had a 10-day contract opportunity with the Toronto Raptors not work out due to him testing positive for Covid upon his arrival. While the trajectory has not been what he expected, there is still hope for Nik Stauskas to find a long-term fit in the NBA. The 28-year-old possesses a shooting ability that has become increasingly important in today’s NBA, and there is no better way to earn an opportunity than pouring in 57 points in the G-league. The growth of the G-league has provided many players with a second opportunity and given the impressive performance last night. Hopefully, Sauce Castillo will find his footing soon.