Quentin Batalillon

General News 2024

Chicago Bulls introduce Josh Giddey, who is refreshed by a new start – NBC Sports Chicago

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The Chicago Bulls introduced Josh Giddey during a virtual press conference on Tuesday. And while the Australian said he hasn’t discussed his role with the Chicago Bulls yet, you could still peg him as a starting point guard.

The Bulls targeted Giddey as specifically as the Oklahoma City Thunder targeted Alex Caruso in the one-for-one trade completed Friday. League sources indicated that the New York Knicks and the Sacramento Kings both offered draft capital to the Bulls in packages they believed were superior to the one-for-one deal. The Athletic previously reported the Kings’ bid that featured the 13e overall pick in this week’s NBA Draft.

“We haven’t talked about roles yet. I’ve met (coach) Billy (Donovan) a number of times and he’s been incredible in the conversations we’ve had. But I understand the team that is here, there are a lot of good guards,” Giddey said. “Ayo (Dosunmu), Coby (White), Dalen (Terry), they have a lot of guys who can handle rock. I think it will make for good competition in training camp, to push each other and make each other better. We’ll see what happens when the season starts.”

Perhaps it’s just an innocent oversight that Giddey didn’t mention Zach LaVine or Lonzo Ball in his remarks. In his defense, it’s not his job to play general manager, and after flying in from Australia on Sunday, the 21-year-old’s world is in flux as he meets his new organization.

In fact, Giddey downplayed whether or not the Bulls have indicated to him that there are more moves to come after his acquisition that could signal a youth movement that could rebuild or restructure, depending on how drastic the potential changes become.

“I didn’t ask,” Giddey said. “I just focused on getting here, getting used to the new environment. I didn’t ask any questions about the direction the franchise is going. I just believe that what happens here happens. I will do my part to help our team as best I can from the start.”

Giddey certainly sounded like a point guard when asked how he envisions his role.

“My job is to make the game easy for everyone. Come in and make the guys look comfortable, make the guys feel comfortable on the floor,” he said. “If you’re a point guard and you can get other people around you going and get them involved in the game and get them feeling good early, it makes the game accessible to everyone. That’s how I see myself: making basketball easy for my teammates around me.”

Giddey came across as relaxed, friendly and grateful for his new opportunity. He praised Thunder executive vice president and general manager Sam Presti several times during his nearly 17-minute media session — and for reasons beyond Presti saying Giddey has All-Star potential.

“I’ve had a great relationship with Sam throughout my time at Oklahoma. The one thing about him that I really appreciate is his transparency. He’s been very open and honest with players and especially me throughout this process,” Giddey said. “Obviously I was coming off a tough year. My role changed a little bit. I was playing a lot more off ball and a role that was different from what I’ve done in my career. So there were no secrets that it would require some flexibility on my part to fit into the team we had and the structure we had and the type of players we had And he talked to me about looking at possible other roles, coming off the bench, leading the second unit And I just said told him that at this point in my career, I’m 21 years old, it wasn’t something I was overly excited about and he totally understood.

“We were open and honest with each other. And we worked together throughout the process. He took me to an amazing place. I’m really excited to be here in Chicago and all the first impressions have been incredible. The people were great. And I feel very welcome here.”

Giddey showed strong self-reflection and responsibility when asked about his diminished role during the Thunder’s second-round loss to the eventual Western Conference champion Dallas Mavericks. While Giddey’s role largely changed throughout the season as the Thunder unexpectedly claimed the conference’s No. 1 seed as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander emerged as a highly valuable prospect and Chet Holmgren showcased his unique skill set, the Mavericks focused on Giddey in the defense and left him wide open as a shooter.

“It was tough. As a player, you first want to go to the NBA. And then when you’re in the NBA, you want to be part of big games in the playoffs. I dreamed of that moment for so long. To let it be ending, it left a sour taste in my mouth. It showed me that there are so many things I have to work on to be available in those moments,” Giddey said. “But I just realized that to play at the highest level you really have to be able to compete defensively. You have to be able to guard guys. That’s a side of the ball that I really want to take pride in and take steps forward and take care of that when playoff time comes, I’ll be ready to go on both sides of the ball.

Giddey’s whirlwind off-season will continue with his role in the Australian national team. He also said he planned to watch film of last season’s Bulls games, even as he praised the talent on the roster.

“In terms of how I saw my season, it was different. It was filming, playing in the dunker, being ready to catch and shoot. Like I said before, it wasn’t a negative look at me. It was mainly because our team became so good and there were several players who could handle the ball and do different things. So I had to adapt. And I think I did,” Giddey said. “And while you’re in the middle of it, it’s hard to see the light. But looking back now, I probably learned a lot of lessons that I needed for a young player in his career.

“I thank Sam for these (All-Star) comments. I speak very highly of him, great person. In that respect, it would be difficult to utilize my potential in such a team. There were so many talented guys who needed the ball in their hands, who were great with the ball in their hands. A change of scenery might reveal more of that to me. When I come here, I want to be the pass-first point guard that I am.

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