– Mathematics is daunting; It's almost impossible to get your head around sometimes, but if you're not – like a young NBA player – it can get into your head too.
It goes like this:
There are only 450 full staff points in the NBA, distributed among only 30 franchises. Every year basketball basketball chooses 60 new concentrations from millions of candidates. They then compete with thousands of elite professionals from all corners of the globe for perhaps 100 places open in the best league on the planet. The change is constant, the opportunities pass.
Five years into his career up and down who has him on his fourth team already, Toronto and Nick Stokes came to understand the math so well, and he is working slowly to make it to his advantage after landing with Portland Trail Blazers, who hosts his hometown Raptors on Friday evening .
"For me, this year – not only this year but also throughout my career – is already cool with certainty," he said in a telephone interview this week. "My time in Sacramento and Buffley and Brooklyn – it was modesty, it certainly teaches you that everything in this league earns, nothing can be done."
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Since leaving the University of Michigan after his second season in 2013-14, Stauskas has gone from a lottery to pick a spare part almost forgotten. Where the draft night was a new suit and hugs from Mama, last summer he was a grateful free agent to get a one-year deal for the oldest minimum from a good organization. Not long ago he was a child who did not know about the star of the NBA was the next step. Now he is a 25-year-old pro with a clear understanding of what it takes to succeed in a league where there are thousands more candidates than jobs.
When he grew up in Mississauga, Stauskas had the magic touch. When he was a kid, he was the little guy who had been pulled out of the crowd in a Raptors practice to shoot three with Vince Carter. As a teenager, he rode a wave of a bustling Toronto ETA scene to get on the NCAA recruitment map. In a family of mortals, it grows into a 6-foot-6 athlete with rare hops.
When he returned home after his first year in Michigan, it was his stunning back yard shooting – where he made 96 three-pointers in five minutes – that caught the eye of Steph Carey, who in turn challenged him in a shooting competition. It was considered against the NCAA rules, but the video went viral and helped create buzz around Stauskas. The next season he was the Big-10 Player of the Year and his combination of shooting, playmaking and length seemed to fit the new "NBA".
He did not quite understand what he was up to.
"When I first came to the league, I did not watch a movie like I do now, because I did not think I should either," he said, almost embarrassed by the thought. "It's crazy that when you're young you should definitely watch the movie, but you just do not know what you do not know … I thought I'd find it easy and that's not the case in this league."
He traded after the Rocky season on a team of Sacramento dysfunctional kings that won 29 games and then spent two full seasons in the ebb of low "process" years in Philadelphia, winning 10 and 28 games, respectively. Just as the Sixers turned the corner in 2017-18, he fell out of the round – only appeared in six of the 27 games – before being traded to rebuild the Brooklyn Nets. He burst from the gates there with 22 points from the bench at Scotiabank Arena; 15 points in 15 minutes A few nights later seven seven triangles in 23 minutes a little after that. But when Nets returned to health, Stauskas was thrown back on his way to a free agency last summer.
He no longer had a lottery to choose, he was out of work, having been transferred by three teams. Not an ideal.
"It was a very interesting person," he said when July 1 rolled around without any clear view of what his future NBA would look like. "I did not know what to expect at all."
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His story is not unique.
While the Canadians are being drafted in record numbers, sticking to the league has proved a challenge. Anthony Bennett, taken from No. 1 in 2013, Andrew Nicholson (19th 2012) and Tyler Ennis (18th in 2014) are playing out for the NBA professional after a short career that does not break their way.
Stauskas ends up getting an offer from the Blazer Trail shortly after the Midnight deadline to pass the bench behind all the stars and the Mac. Culum and Damien Lillard.
At first Stauskas hesitated: Where would he fit into the back of two well-formed stars?
"It was my ego talking, I was being the eighth choice, I was in my early twenties," he says. "I was still on what I had to do to be the man and get all those touches and all those minutes"
It was his agent for a long time Mark Bartelstein who made it clear.
"He said, 'Look, we're not getting anywhere to be a Stratter and to be a guy,'" Stauskas recalled. "This is where you build your reputation, a winning team that has been in the playoffs for five consecutive years and you come off the bench, you have a significant role, you play good minutes and you earn your reputation away.
Bartelstein had other clients coming through the Trail Blazer organization and rave about the culture and thrive in the environment.
"I'm glad I trusted him and decided to come here," Stokescas said. "It was an enjoyable experience."
He averages 18 minutes very predictable playing and gets a lot of freedom to work as part of the second unit. He remembered to put the league when he exploded for a career high 24 points in 27 minutes to spoil the premiere of LeBron James with L.A Lakers on the opening night and is on track for career highs in multiple attack categories.
"This is the first time I have entered the game. I know what to expect. I know what it will look like," he says. "Mentally it just puts you somewhere else … It puts me in a relaxed place … I just feel comfortable and free out, I do not think too much, I just play my game."
Outside the courtroom, he studies films, examines defensive trends, and breaks down future opponents. His role models are not necessarily all stars now but players like JJ Reddick or Kyle Corver – a high-end shooter who have appointed their skill into a long career as elite role players. For the first time in his career, StauCas has a clear plan to work from.
Stauskas sure, the emerging may not be a better development for Canada basketball after the national team of senior men qualified for the World Cup in China next summer. Stausacus's talents can make him an important piece of the puzzle of Canada, the game FIBA is well suited to his skills. As a 21-year-old, Stauskas may have been Canada's best player in the tournament of Americans in Mexico. In a game of six games that preceded the Olympic game against Venezuela, Stausx stood at 14.5 points, 3.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds while placing 16 triangles of 16.
Then, disaster struck. Stauskas tells how cooked bottom salmon hotel staff brought a violent attack of food poisoning. "I woke up in the middle of the night and it was a fuss, it could have been the worst 24 hours of my life."
He tried to play in the final semifinals, but he had no legs and could only watch in Canada, which led to a seven-point top and kept their Olympic dreams in another four years. His unsecured contract status and NBA role has kept him playing in Canada since then, but he wants to be part of the mix going forward.
"I hope I do not move myself or whatever, but since we've been fitting, I've told my close family: I'm going to China this summer," he says. "I'm planning to be there … I know there are plenty of guards and wings to choose from so I do not want to lay down Oh yeah, I'm on the team, but 100% I'd love to be part of this team and that's something I still value, Be part of the Canada team. "
Considering the competition to make the staff and minutes on each team head to China in 2019 and I hope for the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020, StasCas more developed on what it means to find a role on the team at this stage of his NBA career can be quality Is essential.
NBA math boils down to this: starring roles are not for everyone; Not everyone gets & # 39; man & # 39;
But if you're willing to get a star & In your job, good things can happen.
"To this day I am dealing with this change in thinking," he says. "I'm always more hungry, but [accepting a role] Is just the reality of the league. There are 24 stars and then some borderline all the stars in the guys who really contribute and after that everyone is almost interchangeable … It is difficult for a lot of people to accept that your ego comes into play, so the NBA is definitely a physical battle but it is also a mental battle.
"I always aspire more," he says. "But I enjoy the whole thing [in Portland] And I enjoy it, and that's something I have not been able to do in the past two years. "
Spoken like a clear NBA vet. The Blazers Trail enjoyed and Canada basketball can also.