Josh Giddey could be on the outs with the Oklahoma City Thunder

Oklahoma City Thunder' Josh Giddey
Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

It was just a couple years ago that Oklahoma City Thunder wing Josh Giddey was considered one of the promising young players in the game.

The Aussie was selected sixth overall by Oklahoma City in the 2021 NBA Draft. He proceeded to earn NBA All-Rookie honors in 2021-22, averaging 12.5 points to go with 7.8 rebounds and 6.4 assists.

Most concluded that Giddey was a more refined version of Ben Simmons at that time. Once he averaged splits of 16.6/7.9/6.2 as a sophomore in 2022-23, that was magnified further.

Since then, things have been in a downward spiral for Giddey. It was late last year that Giddey was accused of having a relationship with a minor. While no charges were filed, it caused some drama when OKC traveled on the road.

On the court, struggles have been the name of the game. With his Oklahoma City Thunder now facing elimination against the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Playoffs, Giddey has been relegated to bench duties. He was taken out of the starting lineup by head coach Mark Daigneault ahead of Wednesday’s Game 5 loss to Dallas.

This came after Giddey averaged 9.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists on just 44% shooting in the Thunder’s first eight playoff games.

Related: Updated NBA Playoffs and Finals predictions

Despite Oklahoma City Thunder public talk, Josh Giddey could be a goner

Oklahoma City Thunder Josh Giddey
Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Even after benching Giddey, Daigneault indicates that he believes the wing has a bright future in Oklahoma City.

“What I’ve seen is three years of Josh Giddey, and he’s a very good player and a very important player to our team. In Game 4 of New Orleans, I don’t know that we close that series if he’s not banging in shots in the fourth quarter.

These games are high stakes, they’re obviously emotional. But I think it’s important with every player — good, bad — to zoom out and see the big picture. And the big picture is he’s been a very productive player for a long time. He’s 21 years old. He’s gonna be a very productive player for a long time moving forward.”

Mark Daigneault on Josh Giddey, via Joel Lorenzi of The Oklahoman

The backdrop here is Giddey’s eligbility for a contract extension during the summer. With other young Thunder players showing out big time, he might not have a future in Oklahoma City. It’s a far cry from where we were two calendar years ago.

Regardless of how the remainder of the postseason plays out for Oklahoma City, Giddey will be the subject of trade rumors. He’s still only 21 years old. He boasts a tremendous amount of upside. That off-court issue appears to be a thing of the past. There is going to be interest. Will this lead to the end of his short tenure in OKC? Time will tell on that front.



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