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Giddey picked up by Thunder



Australian teenage sensation Josh Giddey is off to Oklahoma City, selected by the OKC Thunder with pick 6 in the 2021 NBA Draft.


Giddey, who recently debuted for the Boomers during their Olympic warm-up series, was at the Barclays Center in New York City for the announcement.


The 18-year-old point guard spent the previous season with Adelaide 36ers in Australia's NBL competition, playing 28 games before setting his sights on the NBA draft.


Giddey led the NBL for assists with an average of 7.6 per game and was later named the league's Rookie of the Year.


He joins the likes of Ben Simmons, Patty Mills, Joe Ingles, Aron Baynes and Dante Exum among Australia's NBA contingent.


Giddey was thrilled to link with Oklahoma City, confirming he will suit up for the Thunder in the pre-season NBA Summer League in Las Vegas in two weeks.


“It’s a dream come true, so to be taken by the Thunder and to have them want me on their team it makes me feel really special and I couldn’t be happier,” said Giddey, who will also be joined in the US by his sister Hannah, who plays college basketball for Oral Roberts, an hour-and-a-half from Oklahoma.


“I was talking to (general manager) Sam (Presti) and the rest of the staff and coaches and stuff like that and just the way they talked and told me about how they want to lift their program and the direction they’re headed in, it was something I wanted to be a part of.


Giddey has been working with Australian basketball great Andrew Gaze, who played alongside the youngster's dad Warrick at the Melbourne Tigers.


His mum Kim also played for the Melbourne Tigers in the WNBL.


The draft is being held later than its traditional late-June slot for the second straight year due to the COVID-19 pandemic that interrupted the 2019-20 season.


IMAGE: Sporting News.