Is Australia's next star perfect draft fit for Warriors?

Josh Giddey

Warriors coaches, front office members and fans had their eyes glued to Australia this season.

As Golden State rode a rocky roller coaster full of ups and downs, Justinian Jessup, one of the Warriors' two second-round draft picks last year, looked like he could be exactly what this team needs. The lefty from Boise State has a smooth stroke from 3-point range and continued to improve as a playmaker in Australia's National Basketball League. Jessup, 23, averaged 13.2 points per game for the Illawarra Hawks and shot 34.3 percent from deep. 

He finished as a Rookie of the Year finalist, scoring over 20 points seven times his first year as a pro. 

But maybe it was the winner of the award who the Warriors might have had their eyes on the whole time. 

Josh Giddey doesn't turn 19 years old until Oct. 10, and yet, he's pro-ready and someone who could help the Warriors from Day 1. Bob Myers and Co. should be playing, pausing and rewinding film of the Melbourne native right now. He could be Australia's next star and a steal in the draft, especially if he lasts to the No. 14 overall pick. 

"You know who else is interesting is the kid from Australia, Josh Giddey," NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole said on the Warriors Draft Lottery Review show. "... His shot is not great, but it's good. He's one of those all-around guys that does a little bit of everything."

Giddey is a 6-foot-8 playmaking guard who lets the game come to him and can stuff the stat sheet. He's listed at just under 200 pounds, but now is up to 220. He averaged 11.4 points, 7.4 assists and 7.1 rebounds per game at only 18 years old for the Adelaide 36ers. That's more assists and only 0.5 fewer rebounds per game than what LaMelo Ball put up in his brief time playing in the NBL. 


Poole is right. Giddey's shot isn't great. It also isn't broken, and he has been working non-stop to make his release quicker and more fluid. 

Giddey still will be a teenager when the 2021-22 NBA season begins. Make no mistake, though. He already plays like a veteran, looking to make everyone around him better. 

His father, Warrick, was a two-time NBL champion. His mother, Kim, also played professionally in the Women's NBL. 

Giddey has basketball in his genes and it shows. He became the youngest player in NBL history to record a triple-double, the first-ever Australian to record a triple-double in consecutive games, the second NBL player ever to record three triple-doubles in a four-game stretch and led the league in assists. It's easy to see him lead the second unit as a rookie, and share the court with stars like Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. 

Scouring through NBA mock drafts, Giddey's landing spot could be right in the Warriors' range. NBC Sports Bay Area's James Ham has Giddey going to the San Antonio Spurs at No. 12. ESPN's Jonathan Givony and The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor both have the Indiana Pacers grabbing him at No. 13, and SB Nation's Ricky O'Donnell has the Warriors landing Giddey at No. 14. 

But The Athletic's Sam Vecenie has him going as high as No. 8 to the Orlando Magic.

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All across the NBA, teams are searching for playmakers with size. Giddey's mix of age, advanced passing, intelligence, upside and professional experience make him a perfect fit for the Warriors' window of win-now with the hopes of long-term sustained success. 

Go get your guy, Golden State.

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