When Josh Giddey was taken as the 6th pick in the 2021 NBA draft, the following aspects of his game were noted as weaknesses in scouting reports.
- Ball handling
- Shot creation/assertiveness
- Outside shooting
- On ball defence
Essentially, it appeared Josh Giddey’s weaknesses encompassed the entire sport of basketball.
For those who had been watching Giddey during his time on the Adelaide 36ers in the NBL, this was obviously not the case. At 18-years-old, he was averaging 11.3 points, 7.7 assists and 7.3 rebounds on 43% shooting against grown men. A young player that is 6’8″ with elite playmaking is generally a gamble that many GMs would be willing to make.
Currently ranked fourth in the NBA’s Rookie of the Year race, Giddey continues to prove himself to be the perfect addition to the Oklahoma City Thunder organisation that drafted him. With OKC’s commitment to rebuilding demonstrated in their recent history of trading for young players and draft picks (with an average age of 22.9, it is the youngest lineup in basketball) Josh Giddey fits with their timeline as the second-youngest player in the entire NBA.
Alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Lu Dort, Giddey lends his savvy and flashy passing on the open floor and elevates their respective games. It is no surprise that the guy many have referred to as the “Gen-Z John Stockton” is leading the entire rookie class in assists, with 6.2 per game.
In just five NBA games, Josh Giddey also became the second-youngest player to ever score double-digit points, rebounds and assists. In that time, he was instrumental in two victories over the team featuring the player who currently holds the number one spot: Mr Lebron James. Additionally, Giddey became only the third teenager in NBA history to get 100 assists and 100 rebounds in their first 20 games, behind LeBron James and LaMelo Ball.
Josh Giddey continues to put in the type of work Australian’s would like to see from another young Melbourne player with exceptional passing talent. The only off-court dramas we have heard from Giddey is about how many Tiktoks he is able to churn out. The Australian Boomers have yet another elite talent on their hands when the time comes to select a team for the Paris 2024 Olympics.