Over the next couple weeks, we here at Lake Show Life will be profiling draft prospects who the Lakers may be looking at or considering drafting, and even some that they aren’t but should be.
First on the block is Peyton Siva, point guard from Louisville. Siva was a spectacular four-year player for Rick Pitino, eventually cutting down the nets this past April. However, his talents are more often measured at an intangible level, not a tangible one. In 31.2 minutes a game last year, Siva averaged just 10 points, 5.7 assists, and 2.3 steals. He was the emotional and defensive leader of the Cardinals and someone Pitino trusted leading the offense.
STRENGTHS: As I said, Siva was an emotional leader of his team. Siva’s fiery attitude always had his Cardinals squads focused. He also was a great decision maker with the ball. He isn’t particularly a great passer, but a smart one. He doesn’t force the issue and knows where to go with the ball.
His superb athleticism helps him get to the basket and finish for easy buckets. His 41.5″ vertical ranked 6th at the draft combine. He also bench pressed 185 pounds 15 times, ranking him near the top once again. Add in his agility test (finished fourth overall), and his 3.16 sprint test result and Siva is one of the most athletic guards in the draft, if not the most.
Defensively, Siva’s quickness translates well into creating steals. He gets into passing lanes with his quickness and can cause havoc on smaller guards.
WEAKNESSES: Offensively, Siva has no jump shot. At best, he’s Darius Morris with more athleticism on offense, which isn’t exactly encouraging offensively. Teams will have no reason to respect his jump shot outside of about 15 feet, which doesn’t fit into the Lakers plans very well. Also, despite his ability to get to the rim, he only averaged 2.5 free throws per game last season. Although his free throw shooting improved year to year, his ability to get to the line decreased each year.
On the defensive end, Siva will be picked apart in the post by bigger guards. And considering he’s 6’1″ and 181 pounds, just about every guard in the league is bigger than him. His emotions can take him out of the game also. While he’s a fiery player, his emotions can also cause him to get too down on himself or wear himself out.
WHERE HE FITS IN WITH THE LAKERS: In LA, Siva isn’t going to see much time at point guard, barring injuries (yeah, we’ll just avoid bringing that up). Still, given his energy and enthusiasm, he’s worth keeping around. At worst, he’s a positive influence in the locker room and an eager body to learn. If I was forced to pick, I’d take Siva over Morris and Duhon as they both have shown what they’re capable of and seem to have plateaued. Siva is near their level as is and has tons of room to improve.