Indiana Pacers Prospects: Josh Giddey, the 6-foot-8 passing guru

NBA Draft, Josh Giddey - (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)
NBA Draft, Josh Giddey - (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images) /
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Indiana Pacers
Josh Giddy – (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images) /

What skills would Josh Giddey bring to the Indiana Pacers?

Passing and Initiating: “You’re a wizard [Josh]!”

If you’re searching for the best passers in this year’s draft, there aren’t many that compete with Giddey. Good luck finding passes this kid can’t make, and at 18 it’s simply otherworldly that his feel for the game on this end is already at this level. This extraterrestrial dime-dropping is exactly how Josh’s value is felt on the floor, and he should be able to abduct defenses from his NBA debut.

He can hit diving bigs routinely off pick and rolls, sling passes to open shooters off penetrations ambidextrously, and the threat to toss a lob is always there if he desires. Giddey just displays basketball wizardry with the ball in his hands every time he’s on the floor.

He can use any and every angle on entry, kick out, or swing passes, and he just seems like one of those rare players with “eyes on the back of his head.” Giddey also manipulates by his ability to “change pace” and although he may not be a super-athlete by any stretch of the imagination, he makes up in craft where he lacks in athleticism. He’s also a real threat in “grab and go” situations, where he frequently snagged defensive rebounds and heaved full-court touchdowns.

He’s got a great handle for his size, and he rarely coughs up the ball. He knows how to remain composed against a plethora of defensive aggression, and he will always enforce his decided pace on the game.

Finishing: Real promise, already at least average

Although Giddey may be limited in some regards by a less than ideal 6-foot-7 wingspan (less than his height), his ability to finish already shows lots of polish and consistency. As we all know, you can’t teach being 6-foot-8, and his size combined with his ability to finish ambidextrously make him a true dual-threat out of his mastered pick and roll decision making.

Josh doesn’t just utilize layups, and his floater could be a real issue for teams to deal with as he gets even more and more comfortable with it. We are seeing more high usage rate guards using their elite alley-oop passing and floater ability to keep big men guessing.

James Harden does this beautifully, as any time he’s headed to the hoop it’s 50/50 whether he’ll take the floater himself or lob it up to his rim runner because they look exactly the same leaving his hand. This could help players like Goga Bitadze and Myles Turner really unlock their screen-rolling value.

Defense: Quick hands and solid feel.

Giddey is far from a finished project on defense, and we’ll get to that later, but his high IQ and quick hands make him a solid off-ball pass interceptor and on-ball pest. He will also always have that size to depend on, and as he puts on some gains in the weight room we should be able to see some switch-ability.

For now, he’s a somewhat smart defender with chops to get a solid amount of steals. In the NBL this year he averaged 1.2 steals a game.

With these clear strengths, especially as a playmaker, what caveats come with the Australian Wizard’s game?