After showing flashes of potential stardom during his rookie campaign, Josh Giddey is picking up right where he left off in summer league.
The 6″8, 19 year old point guard from Australia has lit up the Salt Lake City and Las Vegas leagues. Averaging 12 points and 8 assists per game, Giddey has shown a since of calmness and maturity in leading his Thunder teammates this summer.
Looking beyond the stats and simply watching Giddey play has shown Thunder fans this will be his last stint of summer league. Giddey has made countless plays that are simply above the competition of summer league.
What stands out about the young guard through his rookie season and the summer thus far is his innate ability to thread the needle. Giddey plays with the sense of a veteran point guard, though he is only entering his second season.
One thing that has stuck out during the summer is the strong chemistry Giddey and newly drafted center Chet Holmgren have developed. They already have a special connection, which makes it seem as if they have been playing together for much longer than five games.
On this play, we see just how dynamic this duo’s pick and roll can be. Holmgren begins the play by setting a brush screen and rolling to the basket. Though it appears he is not open immediately, Giddey makes a tremendous no-look pass, freezing the defense and allowing the big man to find himself all alone for a dunk.
Though Giddey is well beyond his age in operating the P&R, the Thunder enjoying using his passing ability in many different situations. In this instance, Giddey is used as the side inbounder. Giddey always seems to see the play before it happens, and this play is just another example. As Aaron Wiggins cuts to the basket, Giddey makes a bullet pass as soon as there is an opening, creating an easy layup.
Another underrated part of Giddey’s game is his cutting ability. It is obvious how much the NBL helped grow Giddey and make him a complete player. This play showcases Giddey fake a down screen by slipping, finding himself open for a layup. This is a very important maturation step, as he is one of the taller guards in the NBA and will need to use his size advantage against smaller opponents.
While Giddey has shown serious improvement, there are still areas of his game he needs to touch up. His off the dribble shooting still leaves a lot to be desired, as teams like to go under screens set for him, forcing him to make jumpshots. His lackluster 26 percent from three a season ago will not cut it, especially in the modern day NBA. Experience and reps in regular season games will help to improve this.
Yes, Josh Giddey still has improvements to work on in making his game stronger. However, he still remains one of the brighter young stars basketball has to offer. He will only continue to get better.
If this didn’t convince you Josh Giddey has played his way out of summer league, former Duke and NBA star JJ Redick’s thoughts on Giddey will.
During last nights game, Redick stated, “I’ll be honest with you, I would love to be Josh Giddey’s teammate. You’re gonna get open shots.”
High praise from a player who played alongside elite passers such as Chris Paul, Lonzo Ball and Ben Simmons.
The future is bright in OKC, and it is headlined by the second year point guard who is poised to set the basketball world on fire.