There is no denying the fact that Josh Giddey endured his share of ups and downs during his three-year career with the Oklahoma City Thunder. It was not that long ago when Giddey was considered to be a key piece to the puzzle for OKC. The 21-year-old's future with the Thunder came into question after a down 2023-24 campaign, and he was recently traded to the Chicago Bulls for Alex Caruso.

On Friday, Giddey shared a post-trade message on his Instagram.

“Okc… thank you for EVERYTHING,” Giddey wrote. “To the city for embracing me from Day 1. To Mr Bennett, Sam & Mark for giving me the opportunity to fulfill my dream of my being an NBA player, I am forever grateful. My brothers, who I got to share the floor with for 3 years. the best group of guys I could’ve imagined. Stuck with me through the very high highs & the very low lows. You guys know the real me. I am forever in debt to Oklahoma and no words will do justice to how much the city & the organization mean to me and my family.”

Giddey averaged 13.9 points per game on 46.4 percent field goal shooting during his time in Oklahoma City. He added 7.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists per outing.

Why Thunder traded Josh Giddey

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey (3) warms up before game six against the Dallas Mavericks in the second round of the 2024 NBA playoffs at American Airlines Center.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Thunder general manager Sam Presti previously revealed the reasoning behind trading Giddey.

“When we drafted Josh in 2021 he was an essential aspect of our vision for the next iteration of the Thunder,” Presti said in a statement, via “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.”

The Thunder were prepared to bring Giddey off the bench. The Australian playmaker, however, apparently was not the biggest fan of the idea. Presti acknowledged Giddey's potential but admitted that the fit just does not make much sense for either side right now, unless Giddey was open to coming off the bench.

“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.”

Presti also spoke highly of Caruso. The Thunder wanted to receive a quality return for Giddey and they ended up acquiring one of the better defenders in the NBA.

Giddey prepares for fresh start in Chicago

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey (3) drives to the basket against Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso (6) during the second half at United Center.
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports


Giddey's 2023-24 season was clouded in underperformance on the floor and an off-the-court controversy. He needs a fresh start in a new city.

There will be people who already have their minds made up about Giddey. Speaking purely from a basketball perspective, though, this is a player with a high-ceiling. At just 21 years old, Giddey can positively impact a contender.

The Bulls believe Giddey's playmaking ability will prove to be crucial moving forward. He averaged over six assists per outing in each of his first two seasons. Even in his down 2023-24 season, Giddey still averaged just under five assists per game.

Presti mentioned that Giddey features “All-Star potential.” Sure, it may take him a few years to maximize that potential. At the very least, Josh Giddey should benefit from a fresh start in Chicago.

Perhaps he will turn his career around with the Bulls.