At the time, some people were left scratching their heads as they asked just who the heck Giddey was.
Was this really the right sort of player to help the Thunder begin their rebuilding process?
Some might have scoffed at Giddey last year but no one is laughing now: Giddey has become a force to be reckoned with.
He’s breaking records and proving his worth often and is now one of the most exciting rookies – and players – in the entire league.
Giddey made history on Sunday night during the Thunder’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
The guard put up 17 points, 14 assists, and 13 rebounds – that’s right, he achieved a triple-double.
At 19 years and 84 days old, Giddey officially became the youngest player ever to record a triple-double in the NBA.
The previous record was held by LaMelo Ball at 19 years and 140 days old.
Giddey was…well, giddy about the news and took to Twitter to celebrate.
history❤️I love my team
— josh giddey (@joshgiddey) January 3, 2022
But this wasn’t just the only time that Giddey has impressed during his first season in the league.
The player is averaging 11 points, 7.3 rebounds, 6.4 assists and even one steal a game.
He’s playing incredibly well, especially for a player of his size and build.
Not only is he great at grabbing boards and defending, he’s also putting up some impressive shots too.
With Giddey, the Thunder have a young, up-and-coming player who might be a viable threat on both sides of the court.
Giddey credits his time playing in Australia for his play-style, telling Sports Illustrated just how tough and intense that league down under was:
“It’s a very physical league in Australia. Guys get whacked in the paint, and the refs let a lot of things go.”
In other words, Giddey isn’t afraid to get roughed up in order to score.
Giddey was immediately comfortable in the NBA and has somehow circumvented the awkwardness that you find in many other rookies.
When you watch him gracefully move down the court, you see someone who is acting like a pro who has been doing it for a few years now.
That is such a helpful attribute for the Thunder as they aim to cobble together a youthful roster that can compete.
It’s important to note that even on Giddey’s historic evening, the Thunder still lost.
Yes, Giddey is a great rookie but the Thunder are still 13-23 and the 13th seed in the West.
They are very much a rebuilding experiment and are a few years away from greatness.
However, if the front office is smart it will build the team around players like Giddey.
He’s a valuable and rare two-way player who can create shots as well as block them.
With his size and speed and intelligence, he really hits all the marks for what the Thunder are looking for.
Josh Giddey just does everything. pic.twitter.com/MVcJjL9y0w
— 𝙏𝙝𝙪𝙣𝙙𝙚𝙧 𝙁𝙞𝙡𝙢 𝙍𝙤𝙤𝙢 (@ThunderFilmRoom) January 3, 2022
Altogether, they are formulating a squad they can be proud of.
Is it a team that will burst into the postseason?
Not yet, but with Giddey playing like he is and the rest of the squad building their abilities too, the Thunder are headed in the right direction – slowly but surely.