The first thing that stands out to talent evaluators when evaluating Peyton Siva, unfortunately for the Louisville guard, is the senior’s size. At just 5 foot 11, Siva lacks the ideal size to run the point in the NBA, a factor that drastically diminishes his draft stock. But in evaluating Siva, his elite quickness allows him to offset some of the detriments that his stature causes. First off, he is lightning quick with the ball in his hands in transition. Siva is likely to thrive in an NBA offense where he can lead an up-tempo second unit because he has outstanding vision in transition and can get the ball to the rim. In the half court, Siva combines his quickness with outstanding vision to find open shooters in the corners. Siva can pass off the dribble with either hand, and has an above average handle. His strength is his ability to beat his man off the dribble without the use of a ball screen. This allows him to force a second defender to guard him, leaving shooters open in the corners. Siva is outstanding at making the dribble-drive pass from the paint to the perimeter. He always seems to find the open shooter on the perimeter no matter how far into the paint his drive takes him. He utilizes his ability to hang in the air and make acrobatic passes to offset his diminutive stature. He does a great job of finding shooters in stride and making the pass to a wing player in rhythm. He will never be an elite finisher at the rim, but his leaping ability somewhat offsets the disadvantage that his small frame causes.
Weaknesses in Siva’s offensive game primarily derive from his small size and inconsistent jump shot. At best, his catch-and-shoot ability is average. Off the dribble, Siva struggles to square up to the rim and knock down a mid range jump shot. His lack of a decent jumper makes it very difficult to create offense in a slower tempo. Siva has to be able to beat his man with quickness, or he struggles to orchestrate an offense, and there is no guarantee he can consistently do so at the next level as he has in college. Siva’s scoring comes mostly from transition baskets, as he goes through stretches where he struggles to score because of his lack of scoring ability from the perimeter. Siva’s shot selection has been questioned, as he is prone to take the jumper early in the shot clock from time to time. Because of his size, Siva often struggles creating a passing lane to make entry passes into big men. He is turnover-prone because his lack of length leads to many deflected or stolen passes, as he often ventures deep into the lane or leaves his feet to try and get off a pass.
Siva projects as a very strong individual defender in spite of his frame because of his truly elite lateral quickness and active hands. Siva has established himself as one of the better one-on-one defenders in the nation because of his uncanny ability to beat his man to the spot by sliding his feet. He has the ability to guess where his man is going, taking away his opponent’s first step and forcing him to the opposite direction. Siva applies great ball pressure as long as he knows he has help defense to keep his man from getting into the lane. Siva loves to swipe at the ball as his man looks to put it on the floor, forcing deflections and turnovers with his superb anticipation skills. When guarding off the ball, Siva displays the ability to get strips and deflections without losing his own man. Siva gambles by applying pressure both on and off the ball, but his top-notch quickness and active hands almost always allow him to get away with it.
Where Siva struggles on the defensive end is when he is forced to guard larger point guards. He prefers to beat his man to the spot and poke at the ball rather than bump his man off of his drive. Siva is susceptible to getting taken into the post, or getting backed down into the paint to offset his quickness. As good as he is when he has help defense, Siva struggles in isolation situations because his man can easily shoot over him or post him up. He struggles to fight through screens, and cannot guard big men if he is forced to switch on a pick and roll and gets brought into the paint. For this reason, Rick Pitino will often put Siva on the wing of his matchup zone defense to prevent him from getting caught in screens. Although he has great leaping ability for his size, Siva is not much of a factor on the glass.
Peyton Siva’s quickness in the open court, outstanding court vision, and ability to apply on-the-ball pressure and force turnovers all work in his favor, but his small size and poor jump shot cause limitations that sorely hurt his draft stock. Siva can both score and distribute in transition because of his lightning quickness and leaping ability. In the half court, Siva is an acrobatic passer who loves to beat his man off the dribble and distribute to open shooters on the wings. Defensively, Siva adds value with his ability to wreak havoc and force turnovers by applying on-the-ball pressure and getting his hands in the passing lanes. His quickness keeps him from getting beat off the dribble, as Siva can recover from a gamble before his man can take advantage. But Siva’s small size makes him fully dependent on his quickness, especially considering that he cannot create his own offense with his jump shot. Siva will have to continue to consistently beat his man off the dribble to have any success running an NBA offense, a feat that becomes much more difficult in a league stacked with large, athletic perimeter defenders.