4 things to know about Nik Stauskas

Stauskas is known for his 3-point shooting and this won't be his first time living in Massachusetts.

Nik Stauskas joins the Celtics after playing for several teams in his eight-year professional career. AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

After having five open roster spots post-trade deadline, the Celtics rounded out their roster on Friday. They signed veteran guard Nik Stauskas to a two-year contract.

Stauskas has had several homes over his eight-year professional career and was playing for the Grand Rapid Golds of the G League before he signed with the Celtics.

Here are four things to know about Stauskas.

He was on a hot streak in the G League before signing with the Celtics.

The Celtics reportedly agreed to a deal with Stauskas late Thursday night following their win over the Grizzlies, in which backup guard Aaron Nesmith suffered an ankle injury. While Boston’s wing depth was non-existent in that game and looked to be questionable in the interim, Stauskas was on its radar for a bit, according to coach Ime Udoka.


In his last two games with the Golds before signing with the Celtics, Stauskas scored 57 and 43 points, respectively, standing out to teams looking to add any sort of wing depth prior to the postseason. With those two performances, Stauskas became the second player in G League history to score a combined 100 points over two games.

Stauskas has been one of the G League’s top scorers this season. His 26 points per game average is third in the league, trailing Justin Anderson and former Celtic Carsen Edwards.

His 3-point shooting is his selling point.

Going back to his days at Michigan, Stauskas has shown promise as a 3-point shooting threat. He shot 44 percent from deep as a freshman in 2012-13, and in the following season, he led the Big 10 in 3-point shooting by making 44.2 percent of his attempts.

Stauskas hasn’t been as much of a knockdown shooter in the NBA, but he’s slightly above average. He struggled from behind the arc in his first two seasons (32.2 percent as a rookie and 32.6 percent in his second season). But he’s made 37.2 percent of his 3-pointers in the NBA since then, making him a career 35.4 percent 3-point shooter.

He’s been on a tear from behind the arc in the G League this season. Stauskas is sixth in 3-point shooting among players that have played at least 10 games, making 46.6 percent of his 3-pointers on 8.4 attempts per game.


Stauskas has known he’s had 3-point shooting talent for a while. Back in his high school days, Stauskas recorded a pair of videos to show off his shooting ability. In one of them, he made 70 of 76 3-point shots (making 46 in a row at one point) in the rain, and in another, he made 102 3-pointers in five minutes.

He’s struggled to find a home in his NBA career.

There’s a reason why the 28-year-old Stauskas was in the G League this season. Stauskas has played for six teams in his NBA career.

Ahead of the 2014 NBA Draft, Stauskas rose up draft boards as his 3-point shooting looked to be a valuable trait as the league was evolving. The Celtics passed on him with the No. 6 overall pick, opting to select Marcus Smart instead, but Stauskas was selected by the Sacramento Kings just two picks later.

Stauskas’s stay in Sacramento didn’t last long. Following a rookie season in which he scored just 4.4 points per game and struggled to get consistent minutes off the bench, Stauskas was traded to the 76ers. He was able to get more playing time for a Philadelphia team that was the worst in the league that season, starting in nearly half their games. But his shooting didn’t translate yet as he shot just 38.5 percent from the field, averaging 8.5 points per game.


Year three saw Stauskas finally live up to his billing as an above-average 3-point shooter. He made 36.8 percent of his shots from deep and averaged career bests in points (9.5), assists (2.4), and rebounds (2.8) per game.

Philadelphia shipped Stauskas to Brooklyn at the start of his fourth season, which began the downturn of his career. Stauskas continued to improve as a 3-point shooter (40.4 percent) but averaged just 13.7 minutes per game off the bench that year after averaging 24-plus minutes per game in the two seasons prior.

Stauskas signed with the Trail Blazers prior to the 2018-19 season and was later traded to the Cavaliers midseason. He averaged 15 minutes per game off the bench that season and while his shooting was still impressive (37.2 percent from deep) it was his last season in the NBA for three years. He signed with Baskonia of the Spanish EuroLeague in 2019 and in 2021, he signed with the Raptors’ G League affiliate, Raptors 905.

After beginning the 2021-22 season with the Grand Rapids Gold, Stauskas made his return to the NBA when he signed a 10-day deal with the Heat when the team was dealing with a COVID outbreak. He played just two games in Miami and the team opted not to renew his contract when it expired.

He has prior experience living in the Boston area.

Stauskas was born and raised in Ontario, Canada, but as he became an emerging basketball recruit, his path took him to the United States as a high schooler.

In 2009, Stauskas attended South Kent School in Connecticut. A year later, he transferred to St. Mark’s School in Southborough, Massachusetts. Stauskas had a strong first season at St. Mark’s, leading the school to the NEPSAC Class AA Championship game. He scored a team-high 17 points in that game, but St. Mark’s fell to Tilton, who was led by future NBA player Nerlens Noel.


Stauskas rose the recruit rankings in his final season at St. Mark’s. He also helped St. Mark’s get revenge over Tilton, helping the school win the NEPSAC Class AA Championship in 2012.

Two years later, the prospect of returning to Massachusetts seemed like a real possibility. The Celtics held two first-round picks in the 2014 NBA Draft (No. 6 and No. 17 overall picks) and Stauskas was viewed as a likely lottery pick in the weeks leading up to the draft.

Stauskas took part in a predraft workout (which included Smart and Michigan State’s Gary Harris). He was so excited to return to the area that he arrived for his workout a day earlier than expected.

“It’s awesome coming back here,” Stauskas told reporters at the time. “I was able to see my friends yesterday that I went to high school with here. I kind of feel like this is home to me. I was here for two years in high school and I’m excited to be back.”

Eight years later, Stauskas returns to the area where he played high school basketball. As a matter of fact, Udoka told reporters Sunday that Stauskas turned down opportunities elsewhere to come to Boston, where he’ll call home for the foreseeable future.


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