Ahead of the NBA draft, Australian point guard Josh Giddey appears to be rising up through the ranks and could be a target of the Golden State Warriors with the seventh overall pick.
According to Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle, Giddey is a strong possibility for the Warriors at No. 7. Giddey, who played last season with the Adelaide 36ers in the National Basketball League, projects to fill a need as the backup ballhandler behind Stephen Curry.
The 6-foot-8 guard, who was named the NBL Rookie of the Year, produced a sensational season with the 36ers, averaging 10.9 points, 7.6 assists, 7.3 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 28 games. He became the youngest Australian to register a triple-double in the NBL.
Giddey recently finished a stint with the Australian basketball team during its exhibition games in Las Vegas and apparently left an impression. He produced 14 points, four rebounds, three assists and one blocked shot versus Nigeria in his lone appearance with the Boomers.
Giddey has drawn comparisons to fellow Australian Ben Simmons with his ability to lead and get others involved, something that would certainly fit in the Warriors’ pass-happy system. He is arguably the best passer in the draft and would give the Warriors another playmaker.
While the Warriors are apparently interested in Giddey, he has also drawn some interest from the Memphis Grizzlies. On Monday, they reportedly acquired the 10th overall pick from the New Orleans Pelicans with the hope to target him on draft night.
Giddey was previously linked heavily to the San Antonio Spurs with the 12th pick, but he appears to have improved his stock after his performance with Australia. Now, it appears his ceiling in the draft could be the Warriors at No. 7.
Entering the draft, the Warriors were once believed to be interested in trading either their seventh or 14th overall picks to acquire veterans that can help them win now. However, that thinking may have changed as the team may now elect to keep both picks.
Warriors president Bob Myers on Monday said the team currently has no plans on trading those two picks. He did acknowledge that stance could change with Thursday approaching as teams tend to ramp up trade talks on draft night.
Golden State enters the draft as one of the wild cards: Its plans appear to be very fluid. With some assets available, it will be worth monitoring how they operate and which prospects they target.
The NBA draft is scheduled to begin Thursday at 8 p.m. EDT on ESPN.
2021 NBA Mock Draft: The final projections for all 60 picks
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