'J-Dub' Jalen Williams laments Josh Giddey's OKC departure as Alex Caruso trade is finalized

'J-Dub' Jalen Williams laments Josh Giddey's OKC departure as Alex Caruso trade is finalized

The OKC Thunder traded guard Josh Giddey to the Chicago Bulls for two-time All-Defensive team selectee Alex Caruso on Thursday. Afterward, Thunder forward Jalen Williams lamented his teammate's sudden departure.

After getting drafted No. 6 in the 2021 NBA draft, Giddey spent his first three seasons with OKC. The last two came alongside Williams, who was selected 12th in the 2022 draft, one year after him.

A 6-foot-8 guard, Giddey quickly established himself as one of the Thunder's top playmakers and rebounders, appearing to be part of the organization's long-term plans. However, his offensive skill set soon became redundant, with Williams and superstar teammate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander needing the ball in their hands as lead offensive initiators.

Giddey's lack of 3-point shooting improvement (33.7%) also made it difficult for the Thunder to keep him on the court in critical moments. Thus, his playing time waned, dropping from 25.1 minutes per game over 80 regular-season contests to just 18.1 mpg over 10 playoff appearances.

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After securing the Western Conference's No. 1 seed (57-25), OKC was upset 4-2 in Round 2 of the postseason by the Dallas Mavericks. Following the upset, many speculated about the franchise moving on from Giddey this offseason. However, few expected a trade to be completed so soon, only three days after Monday's NBA Finals conclusion.

Upon the news of the deal, Williams took to X/Twitter, posting a disappointed face emoji.

He also shared a series of photos of him and Giddey on his Instagram stories.

"Damn, bro," Williams captioned his story.
'J-Dub' Jalen Williams laments Josh Giddey's OKC departure as Alex Caruso trade is finalized
'J-Dub' Jalen Williams laments Josh Giddey's OKC departure as Alex Caruso trade is finalized

Despite Jalen Williams' disappointment, Josh Giddey projected to receive bigger opportunity with Chicago

While Jalen Williams expressed disappointment seeing Josh Giddey's OKC departure, the Australian's move to Chicago could strongly benefit his career.

Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, leading up to the deal, "the Bulls had been determined to find a playmaker to replace [oft-injured point guard] Lonzo Ball." He added that "Giddey, 21, comes with All-Star potential that would be unlikely to be realized with the Thunder because of the playmaking star power that surrounded him."

So, Giddey should have a prime opportunity to be a lead ball handler on a fairly competitive Chicago team. The Bulls are coming off a ninth-place (39-43) Eastern Conference finish and have seemingly long needed an influx of young talent.

Conversely, Alex Caruso projects to be a seamless fit as a defensive-minded guard and hustle player alongside the Thunder's blossoming young core.

So, if Giddey breaks out with Chicago, the trade could be a win-win.


Also Read: Chicago Bulls Rumors: Lonzo Ball getting dealt or bought out a real possibility after Josh Giddey-Alex Caruso trade

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Edited by Tristan Rawcliffe
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