Dub Nation HQ Draft Tourney: #6 Josh Giddey vs #11 Ziaire Williams

Battle of the tall playmakers

The whole tournament is at 2021 Dub Nation HQ Draft Tournament.

Your mission is to decide which of these two you would prefer the Warriors draft at #7 this year. I’ll bring the scouting reports, you bring the vote.


Joshua Giddey

Mock Drafts for GSW: Chad Ford Podcast

Wizzy’s Comps. None.

NBA Draft Room Comp: Taller Brent Barry

Jeremy Woo, SI. At some point, it’s hard to ignore the fact that Giddey is averaging 11 points, seven rebounds and six assists, and earning a ton of playing time in the NBL at 18 years old. He’s made a quick adjustment against professional competition and has been indispensable, starting to scrape at triple doubles as a legitimate, tall point guard. Giddey has his warts: He’s not a good defender, his jumper is a bit stiff and a work in progress, and he’ll have a tougher time athletically in the NBA until his body fills out. His numbers hold up fairly well with what LaMelo Ball did in Australia last year, and while they’re far from the same caliber of prospect, Giddey deserves a lot of credit. The lottery is feasible.

Sam Vecenie, The Athletic: Few players have as much momentum up the board right now as Giddey. He posted back-to-back triple-doubles in the Australian NBL last week, showcasing his extremely high-level feel for the game. He’s one of the smartest players in the draft, especially for a teenager. He has an innate understanding of where and how to get his teammates the ball in advantageous positions. That’s his key skill. At 6-8 without elite athleticism, Giddey is more a secondary playmaker in the vein of a Joe Ingles as opposed to a primary point guard. But he should be able to make plays out of ball screens. The keys here will be shooting and an emphasis on defensive fundamentals. He needs to stay lower in his defensive stance. The jumper should improve in time, as nothing is broken mechanically.

Kevin O’Connor, The Ringer: SHADES OF Joe Ingles, Kyle Anderson, Evan Turner

Tall playmaker with the ability to make any pass on the court, though he must answer questions about his shooting and defense.

  • Playmaking

  • Feel for the Game

PLUSES

  • Manipulates defense using a wide variety of change-of-pace moves. He understands how to take certain angles to open passing windows better than many NBA veterans.

  • Ambidextrous passer who fluidly distributes the ball off the bounce. Whether it’s a basic pocket pass or a high-level dish to a shooter or cutter, he delivers with accuracy.

  • Skilled finisher who can contort his body at the rim and score from awkward angles. He also displays soft touch on floaters.

  • Instinctual rebounder who gobbles up boards out of his area, and is a threat to take the ball coast to coast.

  • Solid off-ball defender who displays a desire to make plays in the passing lanes, though he must improve his fundamentals and court awareness.

MINUSES

  • Subpar spot-up shooter who needs to revise his mechanics. It looks like he brings the ball up to his release point too early, which means power isn’t transferring from his legs up to his hands. His footwork is also inconsistent.

  • Can’t make defenders pay for going under screens in the pick-and-roll because of his shaky dribble jumper.

  • Struggles defending man-to-man against quicker players and against bigger ones due to his lean frame.

Kyle Boone, CBS Sports: We added shot-making for the Warriors earlier in the draft with Bouknight, now we'll add shot-creation here with Josh Giddey, one of the most creative passers in the draft. Giddey is a big-bodied guard who has created as the No. 1 option and profiles as a big wing who can generate offense with his crisp passing and elite vision. Whether that's enough to make him a starter on this Warriors roster is unclear, but what he can bring as an offensive player is enough to make a difference on a team that likely has realistic goals of contending in 2021-22.

Hollinger, The Athletic: Similar to Kuminga, Giddey is 6-foot-8 with perimeter skills. Unlike Kuminga, he only exists in two dimensions. Yes, Giddey needs to pack on a bit of muscle, but his play in a physical professional league in Australia shows that he can be an impact player without looking like Hercules.

Again, big wings who can dribble and pass are the gold every scout seeks, which gives Giddey a solid boost up the list here. His upside scenarios are reminiscent of Toni Kukoc or Joe Ingles with a right hand. The reason he doesn’t go any higher, however, has to do with some of the limitations that could prove fail points in this development.

For starters, there is his shot. Giddey shot 29.3 percent from 3 and 69.1 percent from the line this season, and while he relied some on self-created 3s, the eye test backs up the numbers in this case. He shoots an awkward, elbow-out jumper flicked off his forehead, and he’s going to need that shot to open up the rest of his game. Giddey doesn’t have the burst to get to the cup on his own steam consistently and, for that reason, was an underwhelming scorer Down Under (10.8 points per game, exactly 50 percent on 2s).

His ability to guard on the perimeter is also a question, especially given his thin frame and limited vertical. Giddey wasn’t afraid to stick his nose in and rebound, however, with a 12.8 percent rebound rate in a pretty brutish league.

The reason to draft Giddey is for his passing. His ability to make deliveries with either hand at his age is pretty special; he just has to be good enough at the other stuff to where it’s worth putting him on the ball. Unlike the other prospects who have played in Australia, Giddey legitimately impacted winning as a teenager. He’ll also be nearly the youngest player in the draft, with an October 2002 birthdate.

The size, passing and youth make for a strong case. Relative the players above him, however, Giddey has two minuses — athleticism and shooting — and at least one of them needs to turn in his favor.


Ziaire Williams

Profile from Sports-Reference.com

Wizzy’s Comps.

  • Per 40. Jaden McDaniels, Cam Reddish, David Johnson, Josh Selby, Omar Cook, Kenny Satterfield, Jamal Crawford, Greg Brown, Trevor Ariza

  • Advanced. David Johnson, Josh Selby, Justin Jackson, Jaden McDaniels, Cam Reddish, Tyler Honeycutt, Marquis Teague, Greg Brown, Isaiah Cousins

Jon Chepkevich: Statistical best comparisons are

  1. Troy Brown

  2. KZ Okpala

  3. Khris Middleton

  4. Malachi Richardson

  5. Tyler Honeycutt

NBA Draft Room Comp: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Sam Vecenie, The Athletic: A bit of a tumble down the board for Williams, who is arguably the most polarizing prospect for evaluators in the class — especially now that his season is over without a Pac-12 Tournament appearance. The big question is how do you deal with his performances versus the context surrounding him. He was inefficient on his way to averaging 10.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists. Stanford had to live out of hotels for the first 50 or so days of its season without access to a regular practice court or workout facility. Like many freshmen, Williams didn’t get a real preseason. On top of it, he had two deaths in his family midseason that caused him to take time away from the team.

Some evaluators are believers and think that once they get Williams into a real developmental system that he didn’t have this year because of all of the context of his situation, he will blossom again into the top-seven prospect everyone thought he was entering the season. He still has real athletic pop and real burst. His feel for the game is pretty good, plus he has real shot-making acumen. But there are others who just don’t buy the frame as being strong enough and think his skill set is so far away that the team that drafts him won’t be the team that gets the most out of Williams. His range is very wide, depending on how the pre-draft process goes.

What they said: “He was a different player after he got back from his absence,” a Pac-12 assistant said. “The tape on him early in the season is better. When he came back, it felt like they were juggling so many different parts, between the (Oscar) Da Silva injury, the (Bryce) Wills injury, Daejon Davis being out. I feel for their staff because it felt like they never got a clean run. And then they won some games when Wills and Ziaire were out, so they had to decide on if they wanted to go with what was working or bring their guys back into the fold. It’s hard to know what to make of Ziaire. He’s kind of a mystery still.”

Sam Vecenie, The Athletic: A complicated evaluation. Williams had a tough year at Stanford, as the team lived out of hotels for the first six weeks of the season, then he left the team in the middle of the season due to a death in the family. On the court, he had some highs, such as a triple-double against Washington. He also averaged 13 points, six rebounds and three assists prior to his month-long departure. Still, his inefficiency left a bad lasting impression in most evaluators’ eyes, and he struggled to deal with the physicality of the game at what looked to be about 175 pounds. Williams is a project, although one with major upside if the right team ends up with him.

Kevin O’Connor, The Ringer: SHADES OF Brandon Ingram, Cam Reddish

Lanky shot creator who needs to improve his jumper and his body to maximize his immense two-way potential.

  • Ballhandling

  • Off-Ball Defense

PLUSES

  • Fluid ball handler for his size who can change speeds and pivot with ease to create space off the dribble.

  • Go-to-scorer potential if he irons out the kinks in his shooting mechanics; his free throw percentage is a positive indicator for his future.

  • With such a dynamic handle, he also displays playmaking upside. He’s a score-first player, but a willing passer too.

  • Heady defender who uses length and anticipation to be a problem in passing lanes. He’s also a good help defender around the rim who can alter shots and take charges.

MINUSES

  • Needs to revise his shooting form by smoothing out his release and making it more of a clean, one-motion movement.

  • Doesn’t finish well in traffic and avoids contact at the rim, opting instead for more difficult floaters or deep layups. He also isn’t explosive as a leaper unless he has space to launch off both feet.

  • Lean frame limits his ability to add weight and muscle, which will determine how effectively he'll be able to defend multiple positions.

James Ham of NBC Sports:

Team Needs:

It’s possible that the Warriors have two top-15 picks, although it would be a surprise to see them make both selections. Kelly Oubre’s free agency is a concern, which means the Warriors should be looking for help at the wing. They could also use depth at the four and five.

Why Williams?

The 2021 draft is packed with long, athletic wings. Adding muscle to play the small forward position is a must for Williams, but he’s wiry like Tayshaun Prince and might be stronger than he looks. He struggled with his overall shooting percentages at Stanford, but he has a clean jumper both inside and outside the arc and he can fly up and down the court. 

Williams didn’t have the breakout year that you would have liked to have seen, but he won’t fall far in this year’s draft class. The Warriors value shooting, versatility and basketball IQ and Williams checks all the boxes. In the right system, he might be a much better pro than a collegiate player.


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