One of these things is not like the others — the Sixers formally exercised fourth-year options for 2014 draftees Joel Embiid and Nik Stauskas, in addition to picking up Jahlil Okafor’s third-year option. This will keep all three players on the books for Philadelphia through the 2017-18 NBA season.
RealGM reported the story first last night, with further confirmation coming down from local beat writers this afternoon.
For Okafor and Embiid, this was a mere formality. The Sixers have invested too much time and energy in Embiid to not pick the option up for next season, and only a disastrous rookie year could have coerced the team into declining Okafor’s. Given the production and potential shown by the two centers, there was only one way for this to play out.
Stauskas is another matter entirely. He looked better last night than he has in quite some time — how ‘bout Sauce flashing some aggression going to the hoop?! — but we haven’t seen much to indicate he can be a good NBA player. The deep shooting that was supposed to be his signature skill is still absent, and his stroke will ultimately make or break his career.
If Stauskas can upgrade his sauce level from teriyaki to Jerry Blavat, perhaps he will prove to be a worthy supporting cast member for the bigs. At the very least, it appears he has time to prove he can hang, which is a luxury many players in his situation are not afforded.