Josh Giddey’s rookie season has come to an end. Prior to Saturday night’s game against the Denver Nuggets, Oklahoma City Thunder coach Mark Daigneault announced that Giddey would miss the remainder of the season due to soreness in his hip. Giddey hasn’t played in a game since Feb. 24 because of the injury, and Daigneault said the “return-to-play portion” of his rehab process would last longer than the two weeks remaining in the regular season.
“It’s a tricky injury that’s a little unpredictable,” Daigneault said. “I would not say it met or didn’t meet an expectation. We didn’t really have an expectation.”
Given that the Thunder are well outside of the playoff picture in the Western Conference, it makes sense that they’re opting to err on the side of caution when it comes to Giddey. After all, his long-term health is the priority here.
The Thunder selected Giddey with the sixth overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. He appeared in 54 games this season and finished with averages of 12.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 6.4 assists in 31.5 minutes. His rookie campaign was filled with some history, as he became the youngest player in league history to record a triple-double back in January.
“It’s cool,” Giddey said of the accomplishment at the time. “The individual stats are good. I’ll enjoy it for the night, but a win is always better than individual stats for me. If I had zero, zero, zero and we win I’m more happy than if I have a triple-double and [we] lose. It’s always been that way for me, always will be. But yeah, it’s a cool milestone.”
At just 19 years old, Giddey has already established himself as one of the most entertaining young players in the entire league, and as a result the future appears bright for both he and the Thunder.