One of the last players invited to attend, and reportedly forced to pay for his own plane ticket, Niels Giffey had a very strong showing at Portsmouth, just ten days after winning his second NCAA Championship.
Measured a solid 6-7 ½ in shoes, with a 6-10 wingspan, Giffey has good size and length for a NBA small forward, even if he saw a good amount of minutes at power forward for UConn as well. He's a better athlete than you'd think, showing nice quickness in transition and impressive leaping ability on both ends of the floor at the PIT.
Giffey projects as a role-player at the professional level, which won't require any type of adjustment considering that's exactly what he was at UConn the past four years: spacing the court with his jumper, running the floor when given the opportunity, staying within himself, and always competing on defense.
Giffey's jump-shot will be his calling card at the pro level, something he showed he can do quite well at Portsmouth, making 5 of his 8 attempts in three games. He converted 48% of his 3-point attempts as a senior at UConn, hitting half of the shots he took with his feet set, which played a major role in the terrific spacing his guards were able to enjoy in their forays to the rim. He rarely shoots off the dribble (19 times this season), but wasn't terrible when doing so (42%).
Although he doesn't have great ball-handling ability and isn't someone that will be called upon to create his own shot very often (isolation plays made up just 1.4% of his offense this season), Giffey showed the ability to attack a closeout when defenders rotated out too aggressively to the 3-point line. He's strictly a straight line dribbler, but converted an excellent 71% of his attempts around the basket on the season in the half-court and 64% of his transition opportunities.
Giffey is also extremely competitive on the defensive end, coming up with a number of very impressive plays throughout the week both in the passing lanes and at the rim. His lateral quickness is average, and he's at times too upright in his stance and will get beaten off the dribble by more explosive opponents, but he doesn't give up on plays, is highly intelligent, and shows great timing on this end of the floor.
One of the lowest usage players that can be realistically considered a draft prospect, Giffey's performance at Portsmouth was somewhat eye-opening. He demonstrated that the very important role he played in UConn's two championships was certainly not a fluke, nor was his performance as a starter on the German national team last summer at the European Championship. Giffey showed that he deserves consideration as a prospect in his own right, as there's certainly a market for 6-7 wings with decent athleticism who shoot nearly 50% for 3 and are competitive defensively.