The Oklahoma City Thunder drew plenty of mockery and criticism in last year’s NBA Draft.
Josh Giddey was a polarizing prospect, with some pointing out way more flaws in his game than actual strengths.
But the jumbo guard has done an outstanding job of silencing his doubters since day one.
He’s proven to be a versatile combo guard who can fill up the stat sheet on any given night.
Giddey shut down all the outside noise as he became the youngest player to get a triple-double in NBA history.
He also finished his first campaign in the league as a strong Rookie of the Year candidate while leading his team in both assists and rebounds per game.
The Australian guard has proven to be an outstanding rebounder for his position, a sound playmaker who rarely makes mistakes or forces things in offense, and has become a much better shooter over time.
That was evident during the Thunder’s shocking road win over the Philadelphia 76ers, as he scored 20 points to go along with four boards and a game-high 11 assists.
Josh Giddey was magnificent Thursday evening as the Thunder beat the Sixers in Philadelphia. The 20-year-old put up 20 points (including 11 in the fourth quarter) with four rebounds, eight assists, and a +21. He’s really improved as a shooter and as a scoring threat overall. 🇦🇺 pic.twitter.com/2SMa8SOaxQ
— Brett Usher (@UsherNBA) January 13, 2023
Giddey has become a catalyst for the Thunder’s offense and a perfect backcourt complement for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, as he allows the more athletic Shai to play off the ball and constantly drive to the rim.
Of course, the young and rebuilding Thunder are still a ways away from being a contender, but this core has shown plenty of promise.
Add Chet Holmgren and another potential top-10 pick to that mix, and they could be one of the league’s next dynasties.