The offseason calls for forecasting.
This week, Frank Urbina of HoopsHype published an article ranking the Top 25 point guards headed into the 2022-23 season. The Oklahoma City Thunder fetched two representatives: Josh Giddey and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
After being selected at Pick No. 6 by the Thunder in the 2021 NBA Draft, Josh Giddey has been cementing himself as a worthy selection in Bricktown.
Across 54 games last season, the Melbourne-native posted averages of 12.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 6.4 assists en route to four Western Conference Rookie of the Month selections and an All-Rookie Second Team nod. In the guard’s rookie campaign, he recorded three-consecutive triple-doubles in February, joining Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson as rookies to accomplish such a feat.
Giddey climbs into HoopHype’s list, nabbing the 24th spot in the point guard rankings.
The 6-foot-8 guard is wedged between Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry and Minnesota Timberwolves guard D’Angelo Russell. The article suggests Giddey will receive additional run, ultimately yielding stronger results in his sophomore season.
Giddey’s biggest area of improvement headed into next season lies from distance. As a rookie, he shot 26.3% from distance. With the addition of shooting guru Chip Engelland to the coaching staff, the 19-year-old will be practicing plenty of shots from range.
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Since being dealt to the Thunder in the 2019 offseason, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has taken significant strides at the helm of Oklahoma City’s backcourt.
Across 56 games last season, Gilgeous-Alexander averaged a career-best 24.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.9 assists. While the 24-year-old suffered a season-ending injury in March, he returned to the hardwood in July for Team Canada. In two games, he averaged 28.0 points on a 62.8-percent clip.
Gilgeous-Alexander finds himself in the Top 10 of HoopHype’s point guard rankings, slotting in 9th.
SGA is placed between All-Star-caliber players in Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday and Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving. The article notes his “herky-jerky, sudden movements” and multi-positional play as indicators of success for the upcoming season.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have run their offense through Gilgeous-Alexander the past two seasons, resulting in him leading the league in drives per game both seasons. With the addition of Chet Holmgren at the center position, his diverse pick-and-roll play should be amplified.