OKC Thunder Would be Wise to Wait Until Olympics to Decide on Josh Giddey's Future

One of the Thunder's biggest decisions of the offseason might need to wait a couple of months.
May 11, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey (3) warms up before game three of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
May 11, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey (3) warms up before game three of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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Oklahoma City has some important decisions to make this offseason, but the Thunder would be wise to wait on one of them.

Throughout his third season, Thunder guard Josh Giddey struggled to find his rhythm and saw his minutes decrease from his first two years. His struggles last season culminated in a move to the bench for the Thunder’s final two playoff games. 

Last season, Giddey averaged 12.3 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists, which were all career lows. However, Giddey improved as a shooter, making a career-high 33.7% of his 3-pointers and 80.6% of his free throws.

Although he seemed safe going into last season, the Thunder have a decision to make on Giddey’s future this offseason. Not only will they decide whether to offer him an extension, but they might be deciding whether to keep him on the roster for next season.

While GM Sam Presti will be making moves from the draft at the end of June into free agency, waiting until late August to decide on Giddey could be the correct choice. That time period is important because Giddey will likely be playing for Australia at the Paris Olympics this summer.

Waiting until after the Olympics will not only allow the Thunder to see where Giddey’s game has altered in the weeks following their playoff exit but also could help Giddey’s trade value if the Thunder want to go that route. Last year, Giddey was a significant piece of Australia’s World Cup team, averaging 19.4 points, five rebounds and six assists to lead Australia to the Second Round.

Although the Thunder are unlikely to bring Giddey into next season without a long-term contract, his performance in Paris could impact a potential deal. Another good showing from Giddey in international play could make negotiations more difficult if he wants more than the Thunder are willing to offer. However, a positive performance could be all the Thunder need to see to add more years or money to Giddey’s rookie extension.


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Ivan White

IVAN WHITE

Ivan is a sports media student at Oklahoma State University. He has covered the OKC Thunder since 2022 and covers OSU athletics for The O’Colly.