Photo Credits: Ned Dishman/Getty Images
Heading into the draft, Thunder fans thought they knew the vision — move up in the draft, or select off of a shortlist at pick No. 6.
We all thought wrong.
The Thunder were unable, though likely attempted, to move up from their No. 6 spot in the class, but a bevy of options still remained on the board. Among the minds of most came in G-League Ignite standout Jonathan Kuminga or UConn guard James Bouknight.
In pure Sam Presti fashion, however, as soon as you think he’s going left — he jolts to the right.
Instead of taking the Big Board darlings, Sam Presti helped throw the first major wrench in the draft selecting Adelaide 36ers guard Josh Giddey.
Giddey was a breakthrough star through the NBL’s Next Stars Program. Over his 28-game stint last season, Giddey averaged 10.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 7.5 assists placing just over 32 minutes per game. He’s the youngest player to record a triple-double in league history. Giddey’s regular-season campaign netted himself NBL Rookie of the Year honors.
Giddey’s selection to the Thunder provides Presti another oversized ball-handler possessing an overbearing amount of passing abilities. Giddey is a whopping 6-foot-7, but his full-blood play at the point guard makes him an immediate mismatch at the next level. Giddey proved to be one of the NBL’s top passers in the league, sizing off cross-court, overhead, and entry passes with minimal effort. Plus, at just 18 years old, Giddey has a lot more gas left in the tank.
The selection of Josh Giddey at number six was on absolutely nobody’s radar, but a recent jolt in stock combined with a consensus top-10 draft grade made him a hot commodity Oklahoma City couldn’t pass up.
After months and months of going inside the mind of Sam Presti, no one was able to crack it. Josh Giddey is the pick here, and he’s ready to get to work.