Ten years ago, the Oklahoma City Thunder had the best young core in the league in stars Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden, plus great role guy Serge Ibaka. Somehow, they didn’t win any rings with that group, leading to a massive rebuild in the last few years as those players left, one-by-one. But, they’ve got a new core of stars, led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey. And, everyone knows about SGA, but Giddey is the best player in the NBA no one is talking about.
The Australian Giddey was selected with the sixth overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, following a draft lottery that many thought was pretty unkind to the Oklahoma City Thunder. But, they may have ended up with the best player in the draft.
He was known as a Swiss army knife as a prospect with great vision, but maybe lacked the scoring and athleticism to be a star in the NBA. He’s proved both of those assumptions wrong to some degree. After averaging 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists as a rookie, he averaged 17/8/6 this year, with much-improved shooting numbers, at 48% from the field and 32.5% from three. He’s still only 20 years old, too.
And, his strong play helped Oklahoma City return to the postseason, an incredible feat considering that their 2nd-overall pick in 2022, 7-footer Chet Holmgren, missed the entire season due to injury. And, in last night’s win over the New Orleans Pelicans in the play-in game, he was fantastic. Josh Giddey just missed a triple-double with 31 points, 10 assists, and 9 rebounds.
24 PTS for Josh Giddey 👀
The Thunder lead is up to 10 in New Orleans.
📺: Live on ESPN | #ATTPlayIn pic.twitter.com/WRerxoyfSH
— NBA (@NBA) April 13, 2023
and, Twitter was buzzing for his great performance.
josh giddey looks like the best player from the opposing school in a disney sitcom that has a basketball episode
— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) April 13, 2023
Josh Giddey has been absolutely incredible
— 𝑪𝒐𝒏𝒆 🌩 (@Three_Cone) April 13, 2023
Hey Josh Giddey is good
— JJ Redick (@jj_redick) April 13, 2023
Now, the Thunder and Josh Giddey need to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves on the road on Friday to be the eighth seed in the West and take on the Denver Nuggets.