Australian basketball greats Andrew Gaze and Shane Heal believe Josh Giddey showed the Boomers exactly what they’re going to miss in Tokyo as the 18-year-old put on a show in front of NBA decision makers on Wednesday.
Giddey had 14 points, four rebounds, and three assists against Nigeria in a game Boomers head coach Brian Goorjian chose to rest his stars and instead provide a peek at what the Australian set-up may look like moving forward.
It was a performance that came at the perfect time for the NBL Rookie of the Year, who is a projected lottery pick in the upcoming NBA Draft that will take place while his Boomers teammates are in Tokyo.
Bob Myers (Golden State Warriors), David Griffin (New Orleans Pelicans) and Masai Ujiri (Toronto Raptors) were just three top-end NBA front office executives, among many, in attendance as Giddey showed out in green and gold.
Giddey, a 6’8 point guard, controlled the game, showed off his playmaking and basketball IQ, and more importantly, eased doubts over his three-point shot and defence.
“I think he showed what we all thought was possible,” Andrew Gaze told foxsports.com.au. “He’s something different.”
Giddey wasn’t selected in Goorjian’s final 12-man roster for the Olympics in a decision that left some scratching their heads. That itch only got worse after the guard showed out against a Nigerian outfit that had beaten Team USA and Argentina.
“In short, yes I do,” Gaze said when asked whether he believes Giddey should have made the Boomers cut.
Heal agreed, citing the need to “blood” Giddey with an eye to the next Olympics.
It’s unlikely Giddey will play in Australia’s final warm-up game against Team USA on Saturday. On top of that, he’s not planning to travel and work out for teams in the lead-up to the draft, which means this was his last opportunity to show NBA talent evaluators exactly who he is, and what he can do.
And that’s exactly what he did.
“His performance was fantastic and it’s what we believed he was going to be able to do,” Shane Heal told foxsports.com.au.
“It’s perfect for him leading into the draft because his stock couldn’t be higher.”
Josh Giddey did a little bit of everything.Source:Supplied
Giddey has seen his stock rise at a meteoric rate over the last year as he impressed with the Adelaide 36ers, catching NBA eyes in the process.
Tall point guards are in vogue in the NBA with every team looking for their own Luka Doncic, the Dallas Mavericks star, who will lead his Slovenia team at the Games.
“The Josh Giddey skills are a little rarer than what you see with other really, really talented players,” Gaze added.
“He falls in this category that makes him different. He’s not Luka Doncic. But he has the potential to be a Luka Doncic type. When you look at Luka and what he’s been able to do with his size and running the point like he can, I think Josh has that similar potential.”
Gaze added: “No one should be gifted an Olympic opportunity just on potential. And I do not put Josh Giddey in that category because I think you can easily see a role for him right now.
“It’s not every day you get a guy that is 6’8 that has the basketball IQ, ball skills and leadership that he brings.
“He is very special.”
Originally published asNBA execs giddy as ‘special’ Aussie nails audition
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