Josh Giddey has made a promising start to his NBA career. However, his stellar play and impressive numbers aren’t getting any respect in the Rookie of the Year market.
Josh Giddey entered the NBA with little hype outside of Australia. The hype generated down under was enough to power the hype train alone, but he arrived for the NBA Draft as a relative unknown. Selected with the 6th overall pick by the Oklahoma City Thunder, Giddey is well on his way to becoming a household name.
Barely 19-years old, the Australian teenager is taking the NBA by storm to start the 2021-22 season and standing out on what is a terrible Thunder team to average 10.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. He’s doing it all on the offensive end and has fallen just short of becoming the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double numerous times already.
Still, he isn’t loved by the markets. After opening at $12 to win Rookie of the Year, Giddey has drifted out to $17 despite his stellar play.
Josh Giddey has legitimately been playing ROY level basketball in his last 6 games.
— Derek Parker (@DParkOK) November 25, 2021
Giddy has found success in every aspect of the offence so far this season.
The 6’9″ point guard’s vision catches out the slightest misstep from the defence and puts his teammates in positions to score. Whether it be on the pick and roll, fast-break or an alley-op as a teammate fights clear of his defender, the way Giddey sees the floor already is most encouraging. His 5.8 assists per game leads all rookies and is a number that would be higher if the Thunder didn’t rank 29th in shooting at just 41% from the field.
He’s not the quickest on his feet and doesn’t possess the fastest crossover. However, Giddey’s experience against grown men in the NBL has prepared him well for his NBA rookie season. He knows how to use his 6’9″ frame and positions himself at a level above that of a typical rookie when looking to score or pass the ball. The pace he plays the game and his ability to process what is in front of him looks similar to Joe Ingles in that they never look rushed or flustered with the ball. With his processing time and height advantage over most opposition defenders, Giddey sees the floor well but can put the ball in the basket when he needs to. He’s averaging 10.8 points per game while displaying moves inside and out.
Giddey’s start to the season hasn’t generated a lot of Rookie of the Year hype. Despite joining LeBron James and LaMelo Ball as the only teenagers in NBA history to reach 100 assists and 100 rebounds in their first 20 games, Giddey continues to fly under the radar. Social media lights up with rookie hype every night, but Giddey’s name barely glows in the background.
Josh Giddey rookie ranks:
Steals: #3 (tied)
Blocks: #4 (tied)
The second youngest player in the NBA is impacting every phase of the game.
— Brandon Rahbar (@BrandonRahbar) November 24, 2021
Rookie of the Year Odds
Giddey missed out on the hype playing college basketball generates. American’s overvalue teenagers playing teenagers and tend to ignore players developing in other leagues ahead of the NBA Draft. The caution expressed when the Dallas Mavericks drafted Luka Doncic is a prime example of the relative ignorance that surrounds foreign players. To make things more difficult for Giddey, he is playing for one of the worst teams in the NBA. The Thunder can be fun at times and do have a handful of nice pieces. However, they’re well and truly in rebuild mode and aren’t a team many dedicate League Pass minutes towards.
Giddey has the play and the numbers, but not the name recognition or the regular mentions on social media. Evan Mobley and Scottie Barnes, on the other hand, are on fire to start the season.
Mobley has tipped off his NBA career with 14.6 points, 8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.8 blocks per game. The Cleveland Cavaliers big man has been a key part to their start this season and he will take on a larger role in the wake of Colin Sexton’s recent injury. Meanwhile, Scottie Barnes is averaging 14.8 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. He’s only failed to register double-figures twice as he proves to be a reliable scorer for the Toronto Raptors.
https://t.co/wWGNmWnCY9’s updated rookie ladder:
1. Scottie Barnes
2. Evan Mobley
3. Cade Cunningham
4. Josh Giddey
5. Franz Wagner
6. Jalen Green
7. Chris Duarte
8. Alperen Sengun
9. Jalen Suggs
10. Davion Mitchell
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) November 24, 2021
More recently, Cade Cunningham – the #1 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft – made his debut. While he struggled to start, Cunningham is finding his feet and just recorded his first career triple-double with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Giddey isn’t amongst the top Rookie of the Year chances in the markets, but it’s more to do with the play of others than his own. He’s playing at a Rookie of the Year level right now. Should he put his name in lights and go on a headline-making run at some point this season, his current $17 won’t last for long.
Rookie of the Year Odds