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Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey had a spectacular rookie season. The second-youngest player in the NBA during the 2021-22 season, he proved to be one of the most promising prospects in the league.
As such, Giddey earned Kia NBA All-Rookie Second Team honors on Wednesday night. He became one of ten rookies to be named to an NBA All-Rookie team and made Thunder history as the fourth player in franchise history to earn NBA All-Rookie team honors.
- Scottie Barnes (Toronto)
- Cade Cunningham (Detroit)
- Jalen Green (Houston)
- Evan Mobley (Cleveland)
- Franz Wagner (Orlando)
- Ayo Dosunmu (Chicago)
- Chris Duarte (Indiana)
- Josh Giddey (Oklahoma City)
- Bones Hyland (Denver)
- Herbert Jones (New Orleans)
A starter from day one in Oklahoma City, Giddey immediately made it clear why he was the No. 6 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. With a unique combination of size and skill, he did it all for the Thunder.
In fact, he became the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double (19 years, 84 days). From there, he would go on to record three more triple-doubles at a younger age than anyone before him. Giddey now owns the top-four youngest triple-double performances in the history of the NBA and tied Jason Kidd for the sixth-most triple-doubles by a rookie ever.
- LaMelo Ball (19 years, 140 days)
- Markelle Fultz (19 years, 317 days)
- Luka Doncic (19 years, 327 days)
- LeBron James (20 years, 20 days)
- Magic Johnson (20 years, 75 days)
Establishing a reputation as one of the best rookies in the NBA, Giddey earned the Western Conference Player of the Month Award in four of five possible months during the season. The only reason he didn’t sweep the award in all five months is because his season was cut short.
When it was all said and done, Giddey finished the season producing 12.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 6.4 assists per contest. He appeared in 54 games before a season-ending hip injury in February.
In those 54 games he played, Giddey boasted 16 with double-digit rebounds and nine contests with double-digit assists.
The Australian prospect led the team in rebounding 20 times, which was a key reason he finished the season producing the most boards per game of any player on the Thunder. He also led the team is assists per game despite being a rookie, finishing he 2021-22 campaign as the high assist man in Oklahoma City in 32 games.
Among all rookies last season, Giddey finished seventh in points, second in rebounds and first in assists per game. Although he was the sixth overall pick and finished seventh in NBA All-Rookie voting, he appears to have the highest upside of nearly any player in this class.
When comparing him against the entire NBA, Giddey finished top 20 in assists per game. He also finished top five in rebounds per game among guards across the entire league.
Not only was Giddey impressive relative to the rookie class, but he stuck out among every player in the NBA.
Had he not missed nearly two months to close out his rookie campaign, Giddey would likely be a no-brainer on the NBA All-Rookie First Team. Regardless, himself and the others in his class have much more to look forward to and accomplish over the next decade or more.
Still just 19 years old, the future is extremely bright for Giddey. He’s already emerged as one of the best passers in the entire NBA and has the size to be an elite rebounding guard and versatile defender.
Once the Thunder acquire another franchise cornerstone in next month’s draft with the second overall pick, a trio of that prospect alongside Giddey and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander could be among the best young cores in the NBA.