Josh Giddey’s bleak NBA reality laid bare as on court struggles continue for OKC Thunder

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The Oklahoma City Thunder have a Josh Giddey sized headache to deal with.

The Aussie guard is enduring a tumultuous third season after he took the league by storm throughout his first two seasons in the NBA.

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Ahead of the 2023/24 season Giddey was in line for a mega contract extension that could have landed him a deal worth around $300 million.

It would have seen him surpass Ben Simmons’ $275 million (AUD) contract as the richest ever deal signed by an Australian NBA player.

But through the opening 20 games of the season, the max-contract offer may be on the backburner as the 21-year-old’s form has completely fallen by the wayside.

Across the board he is struggling to make an impact on the court with almost every statistical category worse off than his rookie season.

He’s currently averaging 11.8 points per game, 5.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists. Comparing those figures to last season he’s down 4.8 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.

Thanks in large part to his diminishing on-court impact, Giddey’s playing time has fallen away.

Dropping from more than 31 minutes per game across his opening two seasons, down to 26 minutes this season.

His on-court struggles have been exposed by opposing teams with none more damning than the Thunder’s contest against the Houston Rockets on Thursday.

Giddey was treated like a ghost by the Rockets defensively as they sat way off of him, effectively begging him to shoot from beyond the arc.

The Aussie took advantage in the opening quarter by knocking down two three points, but it was his unwillingness that played right into his rivals’ hands.

Like we’ve seen with Ben Simmons over the years, Giddey looked completely devoid of any offensive confidence as he drove straight into defenders which forced him into unflattering passes to his teammates.

Giddey’s offensive struggles will only make life tougher for the rest of his teammates, unless he can start making them pay for leaving him wide open.

A video uploaded to X, formerly Twitter, shows the ugly reality the Thunder are faced with on both ends of the court when Giddey is playing.

Prior to the season many fans had predicted the Thunder would become a playoff contender after finishing the 2022/23 season with a 40-42 record and ninth in the conference.

With Chet Holmgren returning to the line-up after an injury plagued first season, the hopes were high behind the trio of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Giddey and Holmgren.

However Giddey has failed to fire, leaving the load with Gilgeous-Alexander and Holmgren to carry.

Thankfully for Thunder fans the pair haven’t missed a beat and currently have their squad sitting second in the Western Conference standings.

But with Giddey’s ongoing struggles, the speculation surrounding his place in the Thunder line-up will only grow.

The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, in November, said it would be in the best interest of both parties to facilitate a trade.

“Giddey is the trade piece. Simple as that,” O’Connor told The Mismatch podcast.

“They have to trade Giddey for a big. They need a big next to Chet Holmgren in the front court.

“I like Giddey a lot. It’s nothing against him individually as a player. It’s about the greater good of the team and probably the greater good for the team too. It’s not a great fit for him.

“I don’t think the fit is great and I worry about his jump shot.

“I think with Giddey he’s a great young player who is going to have a long, successful career but it might not be in Oklahoma City.”

Giddey remains under investigation by Newport Beach Police Department and the NBA over allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a minor.

Giddey’s case took a recent major turn with revelations a high-profile American lawyer is now involved.

The twist comes after new details surrounding the situation emerged last week with reports the alleged encounter between Giddey and a girl happened two years ago.

The allegations first arose via an anonymous social media post last month, which has since been deleted, but the incident actually took place right back in his rookie season in 2021, as CODE Sports reports.

According to the article, Giddey had a very short relationship with the woman, with suggestions it was a one-night stand.

Giddey was 19 at the time and the report states he believed the girl was the same age, but that she was allegedly 15 and had lied about her age.

Giddey has not been charged with any offence. News.com.au has also contacted Giddey’s management company Octagon for comment.

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