He may only be in the dawn of his NBA career, but Australian Josh Giddey is already shaping up as an emerging superstar in the league.
Surrounded by a well of promising young players, Giddey and his Oklahoma City Thunder side look poised to take big steps towards becoming title contenders. And the Australian has plenty to do with that.
Having only been in the NBA for a few seasons now, Josh Giddey has already put up some incredible numbers – breaking records, recording triple-doubles left and right, and even doing it on an international stage.
Because of all of that, you can expect Josh Giddey to become even more of a household name — not only in Australia, but across the world.
His basketball IQ and skill level has already received high praises from some of the game’s greats, such as LeBron James and Chauncey Billups, with the NBA’s all-time leading scorer LeBron James saying bluntly “he’s really, really good”.
Basketball’s diehard fans would be aware of the young superstar’s career averages of 15-points, eight rebounds and six assists through two seasons, but there is much more to Giddey than his figures.
So to look beyond the three key match stats, here’s a few things everyone should know about Josh Giddey — Australia’s top player, heading into the new season.
Five things you should know about Josh Giddey
1. Giddey’s basketball career before the NBA
Josh Giddey popped up on most fans’ radar during the 2021 NBA Draft, when he was selected sixth overall by OKC. But there’s more to his basketball story before that time that’s definitely worth knowing.
His first big breakthrough came after joining the NBA Global Academy during his later stages of high school, training at the Australian Institute of Sport, in Canberra.
After impressing there, he destroyed the competition at the Australian U18s Championships with VIC Metro, averaging 20-points, eight rebounds and six assists. Sound familiar?
His professional debut was in the National Basketball League (Australia) with the Adelaide 36ers, where he was scouted for the NBA. Josh Giddey had a standout campaign, receiving the league’s Rookie of the Year award.
2. Giddey represented Australia before playing in the NBA
Leading up to Josh Giddey being drafted into the NBA in 2021, the then-19-year-old played for the Australian national team, the Boomers — an incredible feat for many reasons, considering his age and limited bright lights experience.
He became the youngest player to play for the Boomers since Ben Simmons in 2013, who was 17-years-old.
3. Giddey was drafted sixth overall by Oklahoma City in 2021
Having not played any college basketball or attended any AAU tournaments in juniors, Giddey had still proven to scouts that he was the real deal — going to OKC with the sixth pick.
List of players drafted above Giddey:
- Cade Cunningham – Detroit Pistons
- Jalen Green – Houston Rockets
- Evan Mobley – Cleveland Cavaliers
- Scottie Barnes – Toronto Raptors
- Jalen Suggs – Orlando Magic
4. He was the first rookie to record three consecutive triple-doubles since 1961
Josh Giddey had an incredible rookie year with the Thunder, but the headline story from his 2021-22 season was recording three consecutive triple-doubles; the first rookie to do so since Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson in 1961.
It instantly put Giddey on the map as a triple-double threat, recording eight in his career as of the end of the 2022-23 season — his first two seasons in the league.
5. He recorded 1,000 points, 700 rebounds and 500 assists in his first 100 games
In early 2023, Josh Giddey joined elite company as one of only four players in NBA history to record at least 1,000 points, 700 rebounds and 500 assists in their first 100 games.
He joined Luka Doncic, Grant Hill and fellow Australian Ben Simmons as the only players to achieve such a feat, showing his impressive all-round game.
Entering year three in the NBA, Giddey’s Oklahoma City Thunder have a huge chance to launch a deep run in the Western Conference Playoffs. There’s obviously a tonne of basketball to play out before we get there, of course.
But the Australian will be central to any deep post-season run his Thunder can muster up. Giddey will be joined by star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and promising young talents Chet Holmgren and Jalen Williams — both players he’ll be feeding in the front court, should everyone stay healthy and on the court.