Josh Giddey didn't want to come off the bench for Thunder and asked for trade, GM Sam Presti says

josh giddey didn't want to come off the bench for thunder and asked for trade, gm sam presti says

Josh Giddey didn't want to come off the bench for Thunder and asked for trade, GM Sam Presti says

Josh Giddey was, at one time, considered a part of the core for the Oklahoma City Thunder moving forward. The emergence of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander as an MVP candidate, as well as Chet Holmgren and Jalen Williams as future All-Stars slowly made him redundant. While Giddey is a valuable ball-handler and playmaker, his weakness as a shooter made it very hard for him to play on a team with so much talent elsewhere.

This came to a head in the second round against the Dallas Mavericks, as coach Mark Daigneault ultimately elected to bench Giddey for the final few games of that series. This ultimately proved to be the beginning of the end for the relationship between Giddey and the Thunder, as Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti laid out in his press release following the team's decision to trade him for Alex Caruso. According to Presti, Giddey did not like the idea of going to the bench next season and asked the team to explore other destinations.

"When we drafted Josh in 2021 he was an essential aspect of our vision for the next iteration of the Thunder," Presti wrote.

"Since then, our team has evolved rapidly and dynamically in ways we could never have anticipated. Therefore, as we began our internal discussions this off-season, it was determined that bringing Josh off the bench next season was our best option to maximize his many talents and deploy our team more efficiently over 48 minutes.

As we laid out to Josh how he could lean into his strengths and ultimately optimize our current roster and talent, it was hard to for him to envision, and conversations turned to him inquiring about potential opportunities elsewhere. As always was the case, Josh demonstrated the utmost professionalism throughout the discussions.  Josh has All-Star potential, but accessing that in the current construct of the Thunder would not be optimal for the collective. Based on these discussions we decided to move forward and prioritize what was best for the organization."

Giddey will probably get what he wants next season in Chicago. The Bulls are reportedly trying to trade Zach LaVine, and DeMar DeRozan is a free agent, so the Bulls appear ready to not only start Giddey, but give him every opportunity to serve as a primary ball-handler. Caruso is a much lower-maintenance player. He can make 3's and serve as a connective passer, but he doesn't need the ball or to start. His value comes primarily on defense, an area in which Giddey struggled. He's the perfect role player for a team with the sort of stars that pushed Giddey out of Oklahoma City.

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