Josh Giddey hopes to ‘unlock’ his potential with a bigger role in Chicago

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In one of the first shocks of the summer, Josh Giddey was traded out to Chicago in exchange for Alex Caruso, who will now become one of Oklahoma City’s most tenured guards. This Tuesday, the Australian confirmed that he did tell his former GM Sam Presti that he did not want to come off the bench next season. 

This eventually led to the guard being traded to the Bulls, which will be his opportunity to lead a franchise next to other stars like Zach Lavine and DeMar DeRozan. “I just said to him at this point in my career, I’m 21 years old, it wasn’t something that I was overly eager to do.

 “And he completely understood, and throughout the whole process we were open and honest with each other…. He got it. We worked together through the whole process, and he got me to a great spot,” the young athlete said in his introductory press conference. 

The No. 6 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft finally lands in Illinois after competing three full seasons for the Thunder, as the team hopes this will help rebuild a roster that has missed the playoffs in back-to-back campaigns.

The Aussie joins the Bulls after averaging 12.3 points, 6.4 assists and 5.0 rebounds on 47.5% shooting this past season, which is a decrease if compared to his 2022-23 exhibitions. Giddey recognized that he had to learn to adjust to a new role during last campaign.  

“It wasn’t a negative look on me. It was more so our team got so good,” Josh explained. “There were multiple players who could handle the ball and do different things. I had to adjust. I had to learn different things.”

The 21-year-old was also involved in off-court controversies that might have affected his performances. “While you’re in the midst of it, it’s hard to see the light, but looking back on it now, probably taught me a lot of lessons that are needed for a young player early in their career and how to adapt to different environments,” he assured.

Giddey embraces the decision that takes him to Chicago, as he believes this will be his opportunity to lead and unlock his potential 

After three campaigns in Oklahoma, Giddey slowly emerged as one of the most versatile and creative playmakers in the league, definitely proving he has what it takes to lead a franchise in the future. Even though this hasn’t been discussed openly, but it seems the Bulls are eager to put the ball in the Australian’s hands. 

“It was going to be hard to tap into my full potential, in my opinion, on a team like [Oklahoma City] with so many talented guys who needed the ball in their hands, who were great with the ball in their hands,” the 21-year-old said. “A change of scenery was going to maybe unlock more of that for me.”

“Being able to make the game easy for everybody, being able to get guys involved, distribute the ball and get other players confident around me is the thing I pride myself on doing,” he added. “And it’s hard to do that in a role when the ball isn’t in your hands a lot. … That’s probably the big thing coming in here. I want to be the pass-first point guard I am.”

The rising star comes from a career-high 80 started-games for the Thunder, despite seeing his scoring average drop from 16.6 in the regular season to 12.3 in playoff action. The guard saw his game time diminish during this time, and even came off the bench for his team in their final two postseason matches.