OKC Thunder End of Season Report Card: Josh Giddey

The Oklahoma City Thunder end-of-season report series is here and it is time to evaluate Josh Giddey's up-and-down third year.
Jan 2, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey (3) celebrates after a play against the Boston Celtics during the first quarter at Paycom Center. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 2, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey (3) celebrates after a play against the Boston Celtics during the first quarter at Paycom Center. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports / Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
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The Oklahoma City Thunder capped off a brilliant 2023-24 campaign with a 57-25 record that saw the Bricktown boys win their first playoff series since 2016. Despite falling in six games to the eventual Western Conference Champion Dallas Mavericks in the second round, the Thunder season could be described as nothing short of a success.

As the year concludes, it is time for our OKC Thunder End of the Year Report Card to cycle through every player on the roster to give them a final grade mark and project into the future. Today it's Josh Giddey's final exam.

Season Recap

The year went better than expected for nearly everyone on the roster besides the third-year guard. Giddey struggled to produce despite starting all 80 regular season games he was healthy for in the regular season. Though, his 218-game starting streak was snapped in Game 5 of the second round of the NBA Playoffs against the Dallas Mavericks, being benched for the final two tilts of the series.

Giddey averaged a career-low 12.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.1 stocks per tilt while shooting 47 percent from the floor, a career-best 33 percent from beyond the arc and 80 percent from the charity stripe.

As the 21-year-old guard struggled, he was put under a microscope on the floor. However, as his individual flaws were pointed out, it is important to remember Oklahoma City did him no favors. While they didn't strip his minutes, it was almost worse to shoehorn him into a role that he can't fit into.

The Oklahoma City Thunder relegated Giddey into a role that was based around being away from the ball and a catch-and-shoot weapon with a difficult task defensively against overpowering athletes at times. It is no surprise the Thunder saw Giddey struggle as these were never the focal points on his game.

Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti admitted as such in his exit interview just mere weeks ago. For the youngster to thrive he needs a role tailored around his skillsets. Playing on the ball, setting the table and finding a way to get downhill. When Giddey has done that throughout spurts in his NBA career, he has looked stellar.

Finding consistent opportunities to be that player will be key for the guard to find long-term NBA success. The question becomes can that happen in Oklahoma City with the plethora of ball handlers and playmakers the Thunder boast?

There is no doubt that Giddey did not perform up to snuff this past season and while progression is not linear he took a step back - the difficulty will be balancing out how much of that is the nature of development, the role he was put into and if there is a way to maximize the former NBL star in Bricktown.


Grade: D, A disappointing season for the third-year guard despite the Oklahoma City Thunder's team success. The catch-22 of this season comes from Giddey's role. While his production leads to a D grade, he has never been further from his basketball identity than this season. It is no shock that the drift away from the ball led to poor individual results. A more comfortable role would quickly reshape this grade.


What to Improve on

Giddey has to become a more well-rounded and consistent scorer inside the arc. While the attention will focus on his perimeter shooting the bottom line remains the high-end outcome of his 3-point development would still just be average to above-average.

Whereas with his 6-foot-8 and 210-pound frame, he could turn himself into a threat inside the arc as he flashed a high-end mid-range game in FIBA last summer, and during his best stretch of this season with the Thunder was during a period of time he shot a career-best 69 percent at the rim (March 1-April 14.


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Rylan Stiles

RYLAN STILES

Rylan Stiles is a credentialed media member covering the Oklahoma City Thunder. He hosts the Locked On Thunder Podcast, and is Lead Beat Writer for Inside the Thunder. Rylan is also an award-winning play-by-play broadcaster for the Oklahoma Sports Network.