Sport Giddey to begin NBA career with Oklahoma

05:38  30 july  2021
05:38  30 july  2021 Source:   aap.com.au

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Young Australian basketball star Josh Giddey will begin his NBA career with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

a person holding a basketball: Adelaide 36ers and NBL star Josh Giddey will begin his NBA career with the Oklahoma Thunder. © Hamish Blair/AAP PHOTOS Adelaide 36ers and NBL star Josh Giddey will begin his NBA career with the Oklahoma Thunder.

The 200-cm tall Australian point guard was taken at pick No.6 in Thursday's NBA draft.

The NBL Rookie of the Year impressed scouts after an average of 10.9 points, 7.6 assists, 7.3 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 28 games for the Adelaide 36ers, becoming the youngest Australian to register a triple-double in the league.

The 18-year-old was tipped to go as high as No.7 after impressing scouts who travelled to Australia and also watched him in action for the Boomers in a pre-Olympic exhibition game against Nigeria earlier this month.

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But he exceeded even that projection and now joins fellow Australians Luc Longley, Ben Simmons, Dante Exum, Thon Maker and Andrew Bogut as a top-10 NBA draft pick.

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"Best situation in my opinion," Bogut tweeted.

"Bulk minutes are there and the keys to the team from the PG spot will be in his hands!"

Giddey wasn't selected in the final 12-man squad for Tokyo, but has been earmarked by coach Brian Goorjian to play a key part in the future of the program alongside Josh Green, who was taken with pick 18 by Dallas Mavericks last season.

Giddey has been working with Australian basketball great Andrew Gaze, who played alongside the youngster's dad Warrick at the Melbourne Tigers. His mum Kim also played for the Melbourne Tigers in the WNBL.

The draft is being held later than its traditional late-June slot for the second straight year due to the COVID-19 pandemic that interrupted the 2019-20 season.

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