Josh Giddey is one of the most interesting prospects in the 2021 NBA Draft class. The Australian point guard enters the NBA Draft following one season in the National Basketball League (NBL). Giddey got to play against quality talent and was able to boost his draft stock. It was a smart move for the guard to join the NBL.
The NBL is the same league that LaMelo Ball, RJ Hampton and Jae’Sean Tate played in during the 2019-20 season before entering the NBA last year. There are a number of former NBA players in the league, including Aaron Brooks and Andrew Bogut. Both NBA veterans played in the NBL during the 2019-20 season.
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Name: Josh Giddey
Position: Point Guard
School: Adelaide 36ers, Australia
Weight: 192 lbs
Prototype: Floor General
Court Vision (15/15)
As a 6’8” point guard, Giddey’s greatest strength entering the NBA is his rare court vision. It isn’t just the ability to see over defenders that makes his court vision grade come in at a 15/15, though. Giddey is excellent at keeping his head up when he has the ball or instantly getting his head up and looking down the court when he gets the ball.
He possesses the kind of court vision that allows him to see opportunities for teammates that a lot of other players wouldn’t be able to detect. In the half-court, if there is a player left slightly open you can almost always count on Giddey to get the ball to him in the perfect spot for a shot or to take it to the rim.
Giddey’s special court vision plays a big part in his exceptional passing ability. His size and court vision combine to give him an advantage that few true point guards have. He still deserves credit for what he does with his passes, though.
Giddey is great at looking off defenders to create slightly more room for shooters when he gets them the ball. That is something that he showcases quite often on film and shows his level of commitment to doing everything he can to get his teammate the best look possible. He also has a very nice touch when passing the ball, whether it be on a nearly full-court outlet pass for a layup or on a post entry pass.
Few players enter the league with the kind of passing ability and passing tendencies that Giddey displays. He averaged 7.64 assists per game in the NBL last year, the most in the league. The half-point he didn’t get in his passing grade is because the turnovers need to be cut down just a little bit more in order for him to maximize his impact.
Can finish at the rim with both hands. and at times displays great creativity and fundamentals to get good lucks when he runs into congestion near the rim. Occasionally those creative approaches fall flat, which could be expected from an 18-year-old player. This should improve with comfort, confidence and time put in in the coming years.
Still will be somewhat limited as a finisher due to his lack of desire to initiate contact or even finish through it near the rim. Didn’t challenge defenders at the rim often enough last season to see him doing so against NBA rim protectors in the near future. His size, intelligence and feel for the game offer promise that he can improve his specific flaws in this area at some point in his career.
Giddey isn’t the worst shooter that has attempted to enter the league by any means. In fact, some of his flaws can also be viewed as reasons to be optimistic he will improve his outside shooting in the years to come. The foundation of his jump shot is not terrible, he just needs to get more consistent with his mechanics. That is especially true regarding his lower body. Was far too comfortable taking jump shots with his feet not set or body not balanced.
His release could also use some fine tuning .aae will face issues with contesting his shot attempts in the NBA. If Josh Giddey started to get to his release a split second quicker it would go a long way.
During his season in the NBL, Giddey shot 43 percent from the field, 69 percent from the charity stripe and just 29 percent from behind the arc. This is an area he needs to improve on but there is reason to think he will.
Basketball IQ (7.5/10)
Overall, Giddey has a high basketball IQ and puts it on display almost every single time he takes the court. At 18 years old he is already a great playmaker in transition. He has all the tendencies of a floor general.and runner of the pick and roll and overall He has all the tendencies of a floor general.
Definitely seems to have a deep knowledge of the game that allows him to play more freely and often times play off instincts more than anything else. This is what leads to things like his pinpoint lob breakout passes that give his teammate an open layup. Or his manipulation of a defender with his own movement or simply the movement of his eyes or head.
Perimeter Defense (4.5/10)
One of the primary knocks on Josh Giddey is his perimeter defense, or lack thereof. The Australian guard doesn’t possess very good lateral quickness. Additionally he can struggle moving around in situations like having a pick set on him. When he does get lost, often times at the expense of his limited lateral movement and sometimes clearly to a lack of effort., Giddey doesn’t do well in getting back in the play efficiently.
Needs to have a more deliberate and committed approach to defense if he wants to grow on that end of the floor. Simply limiting the mistakes made on defense would be a huge asset to both him and his future NBA organization.
As discussed multiple times, the ultimate reality with Giddey is he lacks athleticism. He doesn’t have a real change of speed burst and struggles with lateral quickness frequently. Giddey already makes up for an impressive chunk of what he lacks in athleticism due to his ability to make the lives of his teammates significantly easier. As his game grows, again he is only 18 years old right now, he will be able to add more tools.
At just 18 years old Giddey possesses an impressive level of awareness on the court. He seems to always be in control of things for his team. Outside of brief moments, he is almost always displaying very high awareness on the floor.
Josh Giddey averaged 10.86 points, 7.64 assists and 7.32 rebounds per game in the NBL last season. Naturally, he saw his draft stock going up. Now it seems more and more people are coming around on the do it all point guard. He checks in at 6’8” and not only comes off a season of production but also had that production come against familiar faces from the NBA.
Following a dive into his game it was realized Josh Giddey has a chance to be a great player in the NBA. At the very least he is going to be a rotational piece at the point guard spot for years to come. More likely, Giddey is going to be a franchise lifter and play a crucial role in a team becoming very exciting in the years after his arrival.
His grade is slightly less impressive than it truly should be because he does very specific things at such a high level. The value he could bring to an offense in the pick and roll game as well as in transition in the open court may significantly outweigh any and every concern that there could be with a floor general like Giddey leading the charge.
Final Grade (75.25/100): Lottery Pick
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He is really impressive, gonna exceed expectations because of his height, superb vision and passing. His shot will improve a lot and will eventually make a passable defender.