Josh Giddey reportedly could re-emerge as a trade target around the NBA once off-the-court allegations surrounding the Oklahoma City Thunder guard are resolved.
“Come February, opposing front offices will surely call Oklahoma City about the trade prospects of Josh Giddey as well, depending on the outcome of the NBA’s investigation regarding his alleged off-court relations,” wrote Jake Fischer. “Before the social-media accusations that Giddey had an improper relationship with a minor, other front offices were beginning to pinpoint Giddey as a quiet trade possibility in his own right, this being his third season without improving into a viable 3-point shooter next to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. The Australian playmaker becomes extension eligible this summer.”
The NBA launched its investigation after social media posts emerged late last month that alleged the 21-year-old had a sexual relationship with an underage girl. He has remained in the Thunder lineup since then, and the controversy has drawn strong reactions.
Though reports say the sordid situation could cost the Australia native $40 million in sponsorship money, he could still prove useful to some NBA teams.
Giddey is averaging 12.0 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game this season, which is his third in the league since he was the No. 6 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. The allegations may be having an effect on his play as his averages in those categories are all lower than his first two seasons. His overall shooting percentage also has fallen from last season’s mark.
Despite the drop-off, Giddey is a young player who has proven he can succeed in the league. However, the Thunder may be looking to move on from the NBA Academy product not only because of the allegations, but also because he will be eligible for a contract extension this coming offseason.
Oklahoma City was on a six-game winning streak before the Giddey story came to light in late November, and since then, they have split eight games. The Thunder are taking a 15-8 record into their game at the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets on Saturday.
Teammate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is emerging as one of the best players in the NBA and fourth in the league in scoring at 31.0 points per game. In addition, rookie Chet Holmgren is flourishing after sitting out all of last season with an injury.
Keeping another young player like Giddey in that mix could benefit the Thunder very much in the future. But considering the circumstances now surrounding him, and the unknown possible outcome of the NBA’s investigation, it might be best for both parties to move on.