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 Giddey – (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images) /

What could scare the Indiana Pacers away from Josh Giddey?

Shooting: Improving, but a real limiter

There are some real issues with Josh Giddey’s jumper and said issues create a notable steel gate that is keeping Josh from the Land of the Top-10. He unquestionably has games where the shot is on, but the kinematic functions in his form really limit his energy from properly flowing throughout his jump shot.

His knees predominantly bend in on catch and shoots and off dribbles alike and this is the first issue as it’s hard to create necessary energy when your legs are at this angle. His elbow also starts off bent out, and the readjustment we see before the ball is released is another energy killer.

He also has smaller issues like a bit of a slow release and “thumbing” the ball, which will be worked out in time, but the aforementioned issues regarding his knees and elbow have to be properly addressed.

Again there are games when Giddey looks like a competent, reliable shooter, but too many games showed us the reason why he was just a 30% shooter from deep this season. I think Indy’s training staff could be huge for Giddey, as we’ve seen Victor Oladipo take meaningful strides working within Indiana’s program that I think we could also see taken by the Aussie prospect.

Defense: We need some real work here folks.

Sure, he has the predictionary hands I mentioned earlier, but he doesn’t yet have the fundamental capabilities of locking up initiators full time. He shows flashes of driving smaller guards bonkers with his height, but his lateral quickness can really kill him on this end.

Off the ball he doesn’t reliably recognize needed positioning for meaningful help, he needs to improve his ability to “get skinny” when maneuvering through screens, and he has an excruciatingly frustrating habit of turning his head from the ball for extended periods of time.

I don’t think Giddey should be expected to guard lead scoring wings probably ever, but it’s vital for him to iron out his off-ball deficiencies and show more effort on this end consistently.

Strength: Common problem for tall guards, should be fixed in NBA 

I think Josh coming to the league this early is an immensely intelligent decision for his career path. Getting into an NBA system will always be more beneficial than staying overseas or in college because of the advanced training and competition.

One of the awards Giddey is reaping is the best in the world weight training programs that the NBA can offer. Giddey’s 206-pound frame is obviously holding him back in some aspects of his game, from not being able to finish through contact, to being bullied off the ball via screen gauntlets.

Adding 10-15 pounds early is certainly possible and it’d help Josh’s issues tenfold.

With his strengths and weaknesses analyzed, how would he fit with Indiana?