Oklahoma City’s point guard of the future isn’t Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Their point guard of the future is Josh Giddey.
Do not take that as shade thrown towards SGA because he’s undoubtedly the truth, but OKC’s offense runs more freely with Giddey at the helm and SGA at the shooting guard position, and there are numerous examples of why that’s a valid statement.
Why Giddey is a better point guard for OKC’s future than SGA:
Well, it’s obvious. Giddey doesn’t have the mentality needed to be an elite scorer, but he certainly has the mentality to be an elite distributor. That’s why the Thunder drafted him, right? Because of his court vision, passing ability, and rebounding. He’s a top-five passer in the NBA as a rookie, seeing things on the court that no one else can see, often not even the person he’s passing the ball to, resemblant of one Steve Nash. The difference? Giddey’s 6-foot-8.
Giddey simply puts his teammates in better positions to score than SGA, and while SGA is obviously a good NBA point guard, he’s not a potential generational great point guard like Giddey is. I’ve thought this for a while now but since SGA’s ankle injury (three games ago), OKC’s offense has looked more fluid. Giddey is to credit for that.
Why is SGA a better option at the shooting guard position?
Well, look at Zach Lavine and Devin Booker for reference. At one point in their career, they were expected to create their shot, and while they showed flashes of greatness, being considered talented guys, something was missing. It was clear they needed a true point guard to get them in prime position to score. Devin Booker got Chris Paul, and while his points per game went down by a point, he’s been a more effective scorer, getting better shots than before. Same for Lavine with Lonzo Ball as his point guard this season.
SGA averages 22.7 points per game effortlessly, and his weakness is that he’s not aggressive enough. Additionally, he’s spends half his time during a game trying to get others involved, when he can essentially score whenever and however he pleases, whether it’s via a drive to the basket, finishing after contact, getting and-1s, or connecting on his patented step-back. SGA scores when he wants to score, and as soon as Giddey becomes the primary ballhandler and playmaker for the Thunder, SGA’s numbers will blossom…if he changes his mindset.
This article isn’t an indictment on SGA’s point guard abilities. I’m just praising Josh Giddey’s ability to be one of the best point guards the NBA has ever seen. Dually, I believe that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, with a change of mentality, can become a superstar combo-guard that’s virtually unstoppable. The ball is in your court, Mark Daigneault.