OKC Thunder watch party: Fans react to Giddey pick

Oklahoma City Thunder is shown before a game (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Oklahoma City Thunder is shown before a game (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

The Thunder faithful gathered last night at the main event – a watch party hosted by the OKC Thunder. It was the first in-person event since the beginning of the pandemic.

Plenty of reactions and emotions were shared in a huge moment for the future of Oklahoma City with pick number six being Josh Giddey.

When Scottie Barnes went off the board at number four to the Toronto Raptors everyone sat up higher in their seats with anticipation. The top four had felt relatively set in stone but now Jalen Suggs had fallen.

There was minimal faith in Suggs dropping past the Magic at number five so when Commissioner Adam Silver read that name off, it was not a huge surprise for the crowd of season ticket holders.

OKC Thunder fans react live to Josh Giddey selection

Then came number six with anticipation of  Bouknight or Kuminga. You could hear the repeating murmurs of Bouknight or Kuminga.

“In the 2021 draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder select”….there was a hushed silence. “Josh Giddey, from Melbourne, Australia.”

There was one very loud WHAT?! from a man at a front table with raised arms in disgust and that seemed to be the general consensus from the crowd.

So much talk about the dynamic scoring of Bouknight, or the out-of-this-world athleticism of Kuminga, it felt like a letdown for the fans in attendance.

While Giddey has seemingly much to prove to convince Thunder fans, there’s plenty to be excited for.

For one, we know he should come pro-ready. Playing in the National Basketball League in Australia where he led the league in assists averaging 7.64 a game along with nearly 11 points and 7 rebounds. 

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The NBA Rookie of the Year was just won by LaMelo Ball who also played in the NBL to aid in his development and he came to the league with an instant impact.

Arguably the most exciting part about the pick is the mindset that is leading the rebuild. Long gone are the days of drafting raw athletes and praying to the basketball gods they develop a jump shot. That pick would have been Kuminga.

Instead, the Thunder elected for Giddey. A multi-positional, playmaking, 6’7 guard, that has an accent and personality that are bound to make him a fan-favorite no matter the draft night reaction.

Was it what I expected? No. Did I share some similar thoughts to the fans in attendance in my knee-jerk reaction? Yes.

Now as I take a breath, I begin to see the playmaking that will allow SGA to get off the ball more. I see the size that will allow for hopefully increased fast-break opportunities with rebounding.

If Josh Giddey is able to increase his 3-point percentage once he gets to OKC, many doubters will be hushed.

There are plenty of questions to ask with the first-round picks made. What happens to Theó Maledon? Who will be starting at center once opening night rolls around?

When there are questions, Sam Presti has continued to be the man with the answers so until proven otherwise, in Presti we trust.

NBA Draft prospect profile: Josh Giddey - the gifted playmaker. dark. Next