Summer League in Review: Josh Giddeyimage via Thunder

Summer League in Review: Josh Giddey

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We’re digging in on the Summer League performances, of which the Thunder had heaps.

Previous player breakdowns

Chet Holmgren

Ousmane Dieng

Gabe Brown

Jaden Shackelford

Abdul Gaddy

Kevin Kangu

Robert Baker

Contextualizing the numbers

Most exhibition statistics, primarily the percentages from the field, have little to no correlation to players’ output during real NBA minutes. The Summer League is more about the process and how these players are doing what they are doing on the floor.

This helpful guide by Owen Phillips showcases which Summer League numbers are sticky when projecting a player in their first season:

  • Three Point Attempts
  • Assists
  • Blocks
  • Offensive Rebounds
  • Field Goal Attempts

As Phillips shows, all of these categories are less affected by statistical noise when compared to their counterparts. The least correlated stats from Summer League are:

  • FT%
  • Three Point %
  • Steals
  • Free Throw Attempts
  • FG%

With these caveats out of the way, we’ll be digging into how OKC’s young prospects performed in Utah and Vegas.

Josh Giddey

I don’t have much to say about Giddey that isn’t observable to everyone else. His passing was excellent and he looked like LeBron James out there making skip passes to the weak side corner for jumpers. He averaged 8.8 assists in his five games and easily looked like the best playmaker in both Vegas and Utah.
The improvements in his interior game were also on display. From a distance, it looks like he’s slightly bulked up and put on some muscle, which really helped with his drives to the basket. He was able to dislodge defenders multiple times and generally put way more pressure on the rim than he did in the regular season last year. That was impressive to see, and could unlock much more creation upside in his offense.

The jumper still needs a ton of work, as he shot a measly 0.71 percent from three on 14 attempts. A few of them were sort of bail out, last second shots, but you would still like to see improvement. Shooting touch isn’t going to improve overnight, so I was at least happy to see Giddey attempt threes and get in some valuable reps. I do think the talk of him being “too good for Summer League” was a bit overblown, but he was still impressive. He is still only 19 years old and was the second youngest player on the OKC SL roster, and it looks like there is a bright future ahead for Giddey.