How will Josh Giddey fit with the Chicago Bulls? Here's why that's still to be determined

Josh Giddey had some finagling to do in Oklahoma City.

The 6th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft had been with the Thunder for three seasons, started in 210 games and averaged over 13 points per game, but was told he'd be moving to a reserve role.

Giddey said it was because the Thunder went from a 24–58 record in his first season to a 57–25 record in his third season, leading to the team asking him to change his role with the emergence of other players.

That wasn't what Giddey want, so the Thunder sent him to Chicago in exchange for Alex Caruso.

"Obviously I came off a tough year," Giddey said during his Bulls introduction Tuesday. "My role shifted a little bit. I was playing a lot more off ball and kind of in a different role to what I've ever done in my career. So, there was no secrets that it was gonna take some kind of flexibility on my part to fit in with the team that we had and the structure that we had and the type of players that we had."

As a Bull, Giddey will get a fresh start. However, the way that he'll fit and the role he'll play will be determined by whatever the Bulls do next this offseason.

Bulls Executive vice president of basketball operations Artūras Karnišovas said after the season ended that changes were needed to the team and that changes were coming.

Changes were underway with Karnišovas shuffling the coaching staff. Trading Caruso for Giddey was the first personnel move the Bulls made.

This takes the Bulls' best defensive player and exchanges him for a 6-foot-8 point guard that gets a change of scenery and moves on in his career. Giddey said he told Thunder general manager Sam Presti that running the second-team was not of interest in the player who has started every NBA game he's played in.

"He spoke about to me about looking at potentially different roles coming off the bench, running the second unit, things like that," Giddey said. "I just said to him, like, at this point in my career I'm 21 years old. It wasn't something that I was overly eager to do. And he completely understood. And just throughout the whole process, we were open and honest with each other."

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA - APRIL 21: Josh Giddey #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder warms up before tipoff against the New Orleans Pelicans in game one of the Western Conference First Round Playoffs at the Paycom Center on April 21, 2024 in Oklahoma City

However, Giddey said he was not given the promise he would be the Bulls' starting point guard. He also said he had not asked Bulls management about any other potential changes, either.

Giddey's role will come to light as the Bulls make more changes to the roster's make-up, and more of those changes will come to light this week with the 2024 NBA Draft.

What Giddey does know is what he'll bring to Chicago.

"My job is just to make the game easy for everybody else," Giddey said. "That's kind of what I want to do and come in and make sure guys are getting easy looks, guys feel confident on the floor. I feel, as a point guard, when you can get other people around you going and making them involved in the game, getting them feeling good early, it opens the game up for everybody."

Giddey comes to Chicago after handling off-the-court issues, too. He was under investigation following accusations that he had an improper relationship with an underage girl.

The NBA and the Newport Beach, California, Police Department both investigated Giddey during the season and both entities completed their investigations. The Newport Beach police completed their investigation in January, with detectives saying they were "unable to corroborate any criminal activity."

On the court, Giddey was reflected on his role change, especially in the playoffs, Giddey said it was for the better.

It allowed him to focus on the things that would make him indispensable at the NBA level.

"It was probably a blessing in disguise for me," Giddey said. "It really taught me what I need to work on, how I need to get better and obviously shooting's a big one. But also, the defensive end is something that, I think … a switch just flipped in my mind and I just realized that to be at the highest level, you've got to really compete at that end."

No matter what the Bulls do with their roster, they'll have a piece in Giddey that has upside. He's 21 years old and brings size to the back court. 

While it stings losing a player with the defensive caliber Caruso brings, Giddey could be a piece the Bulls can invest in development-wise and fit into their plans once they finish with any and all impending roster changes.

"This club's obviously got a lot of history," Giddey said. "One of the things I'm most excited for is getting to United Center and playing in front of these great fans."


Bulls trade Alex Caruso to Thunder for Josh Giddey: AP source

The Oklahoma City Thunder traded Josh Giddey to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for guard Alex Caruso, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on Thursday.