Despite only playing one NBA season, Australian Josh Giddey is already one of the league’s most valuable assets.
Giddey was one of 64 players to be named by The Ringer’s Bill Simmons on his annual business values list, with the Aussie coming in at No. 51 in a tier titled ‘The Upside Gang’.
The 19-year-old, who was selected 6th overall in last year’s NBA draft, has been joined at level by a number of rising league stars such as Franz Wagner, RJ Barrett, Jaren Jackson Jr, Herb Jones, Tyrese Maxey. and Tyrese Haliburton.
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“Even watching him in Summer League for the past two weeks, I really like this guy,” Simmons said on his podcast.
“You could chat, LaMelo (Ball) comes in a few places later, you could chat Giddey vs. LaMelo, who would you rather have for the next seven years?”
Giddey’s appearance on Simmons’ roster came after a successful Summer League campaign with the Thunder, where he played alongside this year’s No. 2 pick Chet Holmgren.
Although the hits of the summer were the first minutes together on the field, the chemistry was evident before their first season as a duo.
The connection between Giddey and Holmgren was clear in the way they both gushed when asked about the experience of playing with the other.
“Throughout the pre-draft process, he was the guy I secretly wanted to play with. I knew he had a special talent,” Giddey said of his 216cm running mate.
“He can stretch the floor, finishes well in the ring, protects the ring like I’ve never seen before for a guy his age and he supports me on that side. So playing with someone like him is really special.
“We’ve only played two games together, so the chemistry will only continue to improve.”
Holmgren said of the Aussie; “He’s definitely a special talent.”
“He’s a hell of a player and he’s a great guy off the pitch too. We build the chemistry every time we go out, it’s just the beginning. I see us being a good duo for a while .”
Giddey also received praise from Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd for his summer league appearance, something most of last year’s top picks skipped after strong rookie seasons.
“The first thing is that he loves basketball, but we need more,” Kidd said.
“Now is not the time to rest. Not only can you improve, but you can learn from the person you are watching or someone can show you something while you are resting during the game and (you say ) I’m going to try and borrow that move.”
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