TEAM: Adelaide 36ers
I think, Josh Giddey (signed with the Adelaide 36ers on 12 March 2020) is one of the best international prospects for the 2021 NBA Draft.
In January 2020, he earned MVP honors in the NBA Global Academy. His team won the Torneo Junior Ciutat de L'Hospitalet in Barcelona. I watched all the matches he played there, and frankly, I was very interested in his maturity against Joventut and Zaragoza.
This young guy made his debut for Australia National Basketball Team during 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualification against Hong Kong and he played with 11 points, six assists and three rebounds in just 11 minutes. Giddey became the youngest player to play for the National Senior Team since Ben Simmons (Simmons played in 2013).
Actually, his rise began 2019 U18 National Championships. He averaged 20 points, 8.3 rebounds, six assists and 2.9 steals on the tournament while shooting 55% from the 2FG and 37% from three-point range.
Specially against NSW Metro in semi-final he was like a monster. He had 23 points, 16 rebounds and 12 assists. After this match, he played 31 points, nine rebounds, four assists and five steals agains SA Metro in final.
After National Championships, he played great on 2019 FIBA U17 Ocenia Championships. He averaged 16.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, five assists, 3.4 steals on the tournament while shooting 78.8% from the field and 30.8 from 3.
While Australia defeated New Zealand in the final and became the champion, Giddey, played 25 points (9/11 FG), eight rebounds and five assists. From his NBL interview: “Playing for the Boomers is a dream of mine. I’d love to play next year in Tokyo.”
His father, Warrick Giddey, is one of the legendary players of Melbourne Tigers. According to my research, his bond with his family was very strong. He enjoyed watching his father's old games. He was also trying to add some of Aryvdas Sabonis' skills to his repertoire.
PS: Giddey turned down offers from several NCAA Division I programs, including Arizona and St. John's.
I think Giddey is competitive on both ends. Smart, not someone who plays outside of his comfort zone on offense. While his team is defeated in the match, he does not lose his motivation. He always challenges with sensible choices. Defensively, he’s not a good, specially on off ball situations. Sometimes his defensive motor is stops.
Frame Overview + Athleticism
Do you remember the comparison between Kevin Durant and Greg Oden? KD was shown to be more capable, but was a big question mark about his physical tools. His talents with his height were good, but muscle mass deficiency was a problem. I think there is a similar situation for Giddey.
According to 247Sports, his height 6-7 and weight 190 lbs. I think he has the perfect physical base for someone who usually plays guard. Core stiffness and chest width are remarkable in the upper part of his body. But his arms, shoulders and chest lack muscle. Also, not a great width on shoulders.
In fact, he is like Aleksej Pokusevski guard version in terms of frame. He also looks like Ziaire Williams in the 2021 class. He has a good base but needs muscle. His lower body is good for his age. His legs are fast and strong.
Also, Australian guard has a good hip fluidity/mobility with good hip turns. So he can play easily on baseline zone. He has the foot games of RJ Hampton, which will enter draft this year. Fast and clever. End of the day, Josh has put in the work in the weight room I think.
But he has not even turned 18 yet. Don't forget that! I like his athleticism. Moves well laterally with quick and nimble feet, does a good job covering a lot of ground pretty quickly. He has a very fluid athleticism.
Giddey's first step is strong and does not hesitate to go over his opponent, he can change direction in the air. You have to watch him on baseline. He goes in, pretends to go out and goes to the basket with a perfectly timed reverse spin. Not an explosive athlete. He can dunk, but even when he's comfortable in the transition, dunks missed. He is not a good athlete in defense. He is able to do good things thanks to his game reading skills and fast hands. Not a gruff defender.
Offensive Role: Leader guard, who can lead attacks from all over the court thanks to his physical tools (terms of height, like KD).
My favorite offensive thing about him: Finishing around the basket. He has a nice and soft touch with either hand, though his right hand is better. I think he is one of the best prospects in the 2021 class at getting into the paint and finishing around the rim. Of course, he's not explosive and dominant finisher like Cade Cunnigham, Jalen Green or Jonathan Kuminga. But I think he makes a difference here with his intelligence.
His combination of fast burst/acceleration, strong first step, and good handles/shiftiness is why Giddey is so successful at getting into the lane and finishing around the basket. He also likes to use a reverse spin move when attacking to change directions and get to the basket as I said. I'm not a big fan of the shot. He uses both mid and long-range shots. He also shoots in isolation and C&S situations. But it is inconsistent. You can see Giddey's problem in shooting mechanics at the stage of getting out of the ball. His left-hand slips and the angle of the ball changes.
I'm also not a fan of his decision-making on shoots. Giddey brings the ball, controls the court, takes positions, does a few dribbles, but chooses bad shots when the ideal set is available. You can see that he has shot very well in some matches but those matches are not really stable. But he shoots much better than last years. Really good passer and has a good court vision.
Last season, Ja Morant impressed many people with his creative bounce passes. Giddey also has this kind of skills. He gives a bounce pass to his friend, who plays as a roll man, with perfect timing between two defenders. Can kick it up in transition, pass off of his handle, pass out of the post. Very nice touch on lobs.
I like Giddey's ability to drive, stop on a dime, and pivot for a pass to a shooter on the perimeter. Basic handle, not advanced in terms of arsenal. Yeah, flashes spin moves, great finishes around the basket and average crossovers but his handle is generally problematic. It is obvious that he wants to score or assist as soon as possible.
Needs to be stronger with the ball. He doesn't have a handle that is good enough to adjust the tempo. I like his dribble ability. Has a great footwork. Fast and wisely. Josh's offensive feature is generally similar to De'Aaron Fox. Of course he's not as fast as Fox, but looks very much like his dribble, finishing, shooting and creativity.
His offensive repertoire is high; as I said, the shot is one of the majör problems and his handle is one of the minör ones. But considering his dedication to the game, I do not think it will be difficult for him to overcome these problems.
There are two positive things I can say here: Steals and ISO defense. His hands are very mobile. Always active, high energy for a steal. He does not hesitate to put his body on court. In fact, this feature reminds me, another Boomers, Ben Simmons. He steals the ball and goes to the transition. And he’s really good at this.
Good ISO defender with quick hips &feet &hands. Good control of his feet/lower body. Great balance and game feeling on ISO defense. But sometime he is prone to have too wide of a stance. Needs work on perimeter and off-ball defense. Has been a negative defender throughout his youth teams career. The main problem here is that he is very lazy when he is not on-ball defense. He cannot read the help defense well.
Not someone you want chasing around picks. Too upright in his movements, can lose his man off ball, and is not quick on the perimeter. Average switch defender. He cannot physically stay in the switch defense. But thanks to his quick hand, he can easily steal the ball from the bigs with a bad handle. Of course, his quickness, eye-foot coordination and fearlessness in on-ball defense may be a plus, but he needs to work hard in defense overall.
One of my favorite things about him is the rebound. Because he has a really good sense of rebound compared to someone who plays the guard. While in defense, he reads the position well, moves quickly, gets the rebound and starts the transition quickly.
Similarly, on offense. He does not cease to fight in rebound positions. He uses his body well also has a good vertical pop.
I am very curious about what he will do next season in NBL. I think young players like RJ Hampton, LaMelo Ball, Didi Louzada, Jae'Sean Tete have improved in the NBL in the 2019-2020 season. Of course, the level of the league is not very high, but I think a better culture is being created than NCAA. Aggressive and open to development. Also be successful in the 36ers system. He can create a good combination with Randle. I think Giddey will take the role of a versatile guard in offense and be the average shooter. He can make a difference with his passing repertoire and rebounds. He needs to improve a lot in defense. He should fill his frame with muscle. After drafting in 2021 and spending a year in the G-League, I think he could be one of the top five players of an NBA team in the 2022-2023 season.