3 Thunder players who are underperforming, 4 exceeding expectations at the All-Star break

Jalen Williams, Josh Giddey, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder
Jalen Williams, Josh Giddey, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages
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Josh Giddey is underperforming

Josh Giddey is an exceptional passer. He sees the court like a chessboard, has a flair for the creative, and can both envision and execute nearly every pass in the book -- and writes a few new ones as well. He has rightfully received praise for his inbounds passing and, when paired with his above-average rebounding for his position, makes him a lock to add to his nine career triple-doubles in the future.

The problem for Giddey is that the rest of his game has failed to develop alongside the passing skill. His 3-point shot has stagnated and he is shooting the same percentage on nearly the same number of attempts per game. Given that his floater is not falling as often as it used to, driving down his 2-point shooting, and you have a player who is significantly less efficient than he needs to be when he has to score himself.

That is far from a death sentence for Giddey, but when you package those scoring troubles with his consistently poor defense you get a player who has very little off-ball utility for the Thunder but not enough scoring verve to demand the ball ahead of players such as Jalen Williams or Chet Holmgren. Now that Gordon Hayward has joined the team, Giddey's role looks even more imperiled.

Josh Giddey went sixth in the 2021 NBA Draft. Jonathan Kuminga, who went seventh, is currently exploding into a valuable two-way forward. Franz Wagner went eighth and will be a multi-time All-Star. Players such as Alperen Sengun, Trey Murphy III and Jalen Johnson went in the next 10 picks and are all blossoming.

The clock is now ticking for Giddey, and after a poor start to the season he will need to turn things around down the stretch or lose his role - or more.