San Antonio Spurs Draft

San Antonio Spurs: Josh Giddey should be considered at #12

By Damien Bartonek
Josh Giddey
Josh Giddey / Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images
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San Antonio Spurs
Josh Giddey - NBL Rd 16 - Adelaide v Cairns / Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images

Giddey brings a foundation of skill to build upon for the San Antonio Spurs

Josh Giddey, similarly to a guy like Franz Wagner, makes up for his lack of athletic ability by playing the game with skill and finesse rather than force and/or explosiveness. While he's far from being the flashiest player on the court, the wizardry he exhibits as a passer and his stout defensive play turns many into believers.

His game revolves around being crafty on both ends of the floor. His understanding of using angles to his advantage on dribble drives as well as defending those angles on defense is a testament to his understanding of the game. That sort of high-IQ play is frequently on display on both ends of the floor regardless of whether he is on or off the ball.

In addition to having such high basketball IQ, Giddey is a highly skilled (and ambidextrous) distributor and a fantastic pick-and-roll ball-handler. He rarely makes the wrong read and always seems to be one step ahead of the play when looking to pass. He averaged 7.4 assists per game as a player for the Adelaide 36ers, which places him among the elite in his class in that category. He's frequently been looked at as his team's engine on offense, scoring double-digit points and averaging over six assists per game since his days playing for Australia's U18 league.

What's most impressive about his passing ability though is that he's seen such impressive production, particularly in the pick-and-roll, without having a reliable jumper. Being that he shot under 70% from the line for the 36ers and barely squeaked past the 40 and 30 percent thresholds from the field and from deep, respectively, Giddey's scoring contributions primarily came off of drives to the basket. In his defense, despite his lack of a perimeter game, Giddey is a strong, ambidextrous finisher.

Unlocking Giddey's upside on offense will primarily hinge on his ability to become an efficient shooter and crafty scorer. He's going to lack NBA-level athleticism for the foreseeable future and currently only has rudimentary ball-handling skills, so it would be in both his and San Antonio's best interests to find ways for him to become an effective scorer.