The Oklahoma City Thunder are preparing for the 2022 NBA Draft, as the NBA Draft Lottery wrapped up this week seeing the organization leap up to the second overall pick. That is a huge difference from last year’s draft lottery that saw the Thunder plummet to six in a loaded 2021 NBA Draft class littered with names viewed at the time of the draft as can’t miss prospects like Cade Cunningham, Evan Mobley, Jalen Green, and Jalen Suggs. Sam Presti hopes the 2022 class that features four selections in the top 34 can be as successful as the 2021 NBA Draft class that included Josh Giddey, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Aaron Wiggins, and Tre Mann.
After it felt as though the sky was falling when the Thunder fell to six in the lottery, Presti selected Josh Giddey in what was an NBA Draft night surprise. That kick-started a historic rookie campaign for Josh Giddey who went on to win every rookie of the month away he was eligible for before being sidelined with a hip injury one game after the All-Star break.
Josh Giddey is tabbed as a second-team all-rookie, loses his first-team slot to Jalen Green, and receives fewer first-team votes than Herb Jones
With first-place votes counting for two points and second-team votes counting as one point, Josh Giddey finished seventh in voting with 122 points. Jalen Green made the cut for first-team with 158 points, and the sixth spot went to Herbert Jones who had one more point than Giddey including eight more first-team votes than the OKC Thunder rookie.
The Thunder rookie nearly swept the Western Conference Rookie of the Month awards, only missing out on the award once, he became the youngest player to record a triple-double in NBA history on his way to four triple-doubles which included a stretch of ripping off three straight.
Giddey was compared statistically to Wilt Chamberlin, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Larry Bird, and countless other NBA All-Star and Legends. Could we all sharpen our pitchfork and be upset that two other Western Conference rookies earned more first-team votes than Giddey based only on the merit of games played? Sure! However, there is no reason to.
Taking yourself back to preseason expectations I remember the comment section, mentions, emails, and DMs about how crazy it was for me to predict Josh Giddey would simply make an All-NBA roster. That was the bar. He cleared it. In 20 years from now, his basketball reference page will just simply say NBA All-Rookie team member in 2021-22. That is it. We will not remember the vote count, team placement, or any of the extra fluff.
This puts a bow on Josh Giddey’s fantastic rookie season and leaves us anticipating what is ahead for the 19-year-old phenom as he improves this offseason and works on his jump shot.