July's Passer: Josh Perkins

For pure, court-level entertainment value, few players can stand against Josh Perkins.

Getting noted for elite passing skills can be more complex than you'd think. More than 20 years ago a debate raged in the NBA whether the more creative Jason Kidd was the best passer in the league, or if subtle, perfect-delivery Gary Payton was that guy.

Josh Perkins falls into the Kidd style. That's not to say he's as talented a passer as Kidd — hardly — but he emphasizes flair and is willing to trump up degree of difficulty in order to make a play.

That tendency has made him a featured attraction at every event he attends, and like any good showman he places enough style on top of his deliveries to fully steal the moment.

But of course basketball is a team sport, not an individual skills competition, so the truly best measure to assess passing is by its effectiveness generating offense and avoiding mistakes. Perkins definitely does force passes that result in turnovers, but he still gets the nod here because on the whole the plusses far outweigh the minuses.

Perkins prefers whipping, chest-level passes to bounce passes, though he possesses multiple arrows in the quiver. Because he's 6-2, he also has the size to pass over the top of many defenders.

The highly sought floor general didn't always scintillate during the summer circuit, but that mostly was based on his inconsistent scoring. Perkins possesses impact passing ability to command defensive respect even when he isn't knocking down shots, always a critical back-up plan in case his jumper isn't working on a given occasion.

He also deserves mention for winning this category by a wide margin. Some of the other awards generated discussion among Scout.com staff, but Perkins was the obvious choice for best passer. Sure, in some years he'd have faced stiff competition, but the fact that he pulled a Secretariat on the field slots as another asset in the ledger.

With a college decision looming for August 25, it won't be long before we learn where he'll dazzle at the next level.


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