NBA : Staying in the NBA is Harder Than Leaving: The Story of Sam Dekker, Nik Stauskas and Others


By ., Translation: Arma Kaynar /

All rights to this translation belong to Eurohoops Ltd. Şti. And the unauthorized use of all or part of it is strictly prohibited.

This article has been published in The Ringer and translated into adaptation.

At the start of the 2018-19 season, everyone was talking about LeBron James joining the Los Angeles Lakers. However, Nik Stauskas managed to steal the spotlight in the first game. Stauskas, who made his debut with the Portland Trail Blazers jersey, equaled his career record with a 24-point performance, while the Blazers won against the Lakers.

“It was one of my favorite games in the NBA.” Stauskas says about that match. “I was trying to prove myself and show that I belong to the NBA.”

Stauskas’ path to the NBA has not been easy. Selected at the 8th place in the 2014 Draft at the request of Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, Stauskas was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers after working with three different coaches during the rookie season. Stauskas, who played for the Sixers for the next 2 seasons, was later traded to the Brooklyn Nets. Seeking a new start in the next summer, Stauskas reached an agreement with Blazers after his release.

Stauskas, who won a place in the Blazers rotation for a while, was playing meaningful minutes by getting over the edge. However, when February 2019 came, Stauskas, which was traded 3 times in a week, was traded to Cavaliers, Rockets and Pacers, respectively. Finally, after the Pacers released Stauskas, they signed with Stauskas Cavaliers and ended the season there.

“After my start in Portland, I felt like I finally found my home.” Stauskas says. “The barter was very confusing for me because I was not expecting anything like this. This really challenged me and I got back to where I started again. I had to struggle to prove myself again. ”

Stauskas was out of the league 6 months after he shined against LeBron. The player, who had an operation due to a knee injury after a short period in Spain, has now opened a different notebook. Stauskas competing in the G-League as the Raptors 905 player, competes in the G-League Fan in Orlando.

Stauskas is not the only 1st round pick looking for a new opportunity in the recent past. Many players selected with great expectations either remained out of the league or continue their careers in the G-League or Europe at the time we left behind. The names who did everything in their power to return to the NBA are even trying to change the way they got into the NBA.