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Thunder Rookie Josh Giddey Caps Off Preseason With Near Triple-Double

In the final game of his rookie preseason campaign, Josh Giddey nearly notched a triple-double.

After being selected with the sixth overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, rookie Josh Giddey immediately became one of the cornerstones of the Oklahoma City Thunder rebuild. While he missed nearly all of NBA Summer League with an ankle injury, the preseason was the first opportunity for him to showcase his unique skillset in a Thunder uniform.

Giddey shattered all expectations through Oklahoma City's four preseason games. While those contests don't matter in terms of wins and losses, they're key in terms of player development and gaining confidence. 

After the Australian guard's preseason performances, he should feel great heading into the regular season.

Getting better in each of the Thunder's four games, he got the perfect opportunity on Thursday night against the Nuggets. Giddey was the only starter that suited up in that final contest, meaning he would have the chance to lead the team as a 19-year-old rookie.

In just 23 minutes of action, Giddey produced 13 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Just shy of a triple-double, he showed just how special he has the potential to be in the NBA.

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OKC tips off their regular season schedule on Oct. 20 against the Utah Jazz. Giddey will presumably be a starter, going up against one of the top teams in the league. 

While things will be much more difficult for him during the regular season, Thunder fans have reason to be optimistic. There will be many highs and lows for Giddey this season, as there is with every rookie, but it appears the Thunder may have found a future co-star for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the backcourt.

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