It’s awesome to have another Aussie picked in the NBA Draft.
Josh Giddey was selected sixth overall, going to the Oklahoma City Thunder after his NBL Rookie of the Year season with the Adelaide 36ers.
Unfortunately, we barely saw Giddey play in the Summer League after an ankle injury ended his campaign during the first quarter of Game 1.
But, that’s not an injury that is going to create any issues for the NBA season.
So, the question is, where do we draft Giddey in our Yahoo Fantasy Leagues?
Drafting rookies can be fraught with danger. Projecting first-year players is tough to do, made even more difficult when they come from leagues like the NBL.
In most cases, rookies take time to adjust to NBA game speed and lifestyle and working out which one figures it out quicker is not easy.
I am not someone who avoids drafting rookies altogether, as some do, but I am very cautious.
One thing to understand is that despite the myth of the rookie wall, the vast majority of rookies perform much better as the season goes on.
So when you draft a rookie you need to have patience.
Which rookies will have a fantasy impact?
Last season, there were only three rookies of note for fantasy - Anthony Edwards, LaMelo Ball, and Tyrese Haliburton.
This season, there should be more with Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Jalen Suggs, Evan Mobley, and Giddey.
Josh Giddey's likely role with Oklahoma City
With rookies, I want to look at their role. Giddey has a strong chance of being the Thunder’s starting point guard on opening night.
He could be playing next to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the competition for that spot would be between Giddey, second-year player Theo Maledon, Ty Jerome, and fellow rookie Vit Krejci.
The Thunder could also decide to start Shai at point guard and start both Darius Bazley and Alesej Pokuševski, but I don’t believe they see Shai as a point guard.
So I expect Giddey to have a role with minutes in the mid-20s and see that number push toward and above 30 as the season moves on.
In the NBL, Giddey averaged 11 points with 7.4 rebounds and 7.4 assists in 32 minutes a night - a high workload for an 18-year-old.
His shooting numbers were poor, and that is going to be an issue in the NBA, but his ability to pass and grab boards should immediately translate.
So which round should you draft Josh Giddey?
It will be no surprise to me to see Giddey be a top 100 player this season, but I wouldn’t recommend drafting him there.
I think if you get Giddey in Round 11 (10 as a stretch), you will be happy at the end of the season, even if there are some hard times early on.
But, if you are sitting there in Round 12 and the Aussie is still around, I would be pouncing very quickly.
With a current ADP of 136 in Yahoo drafts, you may get that wish to come true.
With Josh Lloyd for Yahoo Sport Australia
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