Josh Giddey: The recruiting process was really fun. Having schools calling, texting and emailing me all the time — it was really cool. It was a really tough decision to make. I kept tossing and turning on whether to turn pro or go the college route. I eventually came to the conclusion that the NBL would allow me to go straight into a professional environment at 17 years old and play against grown men, and I thought for me that would fast track my development, which it absolutely has.
Olgun Uluc: Nigeria has been invited to the pre-Olympic basketball bubble in Las Vegas, sources told ESPN. Team USA, Australia, Argentina, and potentially Spain will be at the hub, where exhibition games will be played ahead of Tokyo 2021; the tentative date is July 7-16, sources said.
Emiliano Carchia: Levi Randolph signed with the New Zealand Breakers in the Australia NBL League for the rest of this season, sources tell @Emiliano Carchia. The player has an NBA out clause in his contract.
If you don’t know the name Josh Giddey now, the chances are you will eventually. Giddey has been earmarked as one of Australia’s next basketball superstars. In his debut season in the NBL the 18-year-old has already shown why NBA teams are watching him so closely ahead of this year’s draft, and the impressive Melbourne-born teenager could well be heading to the Tokyo Olympics to represent his country in July.
The Golden State Warriors have sent a scout to Australia to monitor the development of Justinian Jessup, league sources told ESPN. Jessup, who was taken by the Warriors with the 51st overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, was stashed with the NBL’s Illawarra Hawks for the 2021 season and has impressed the franchise’s executives to the point where they’ve decided to more closely oversee his progress.
During his time in Australia, the scout — who’s currently in mandatory hotel quarantine, sources said — will also be conducting the regular duties of his job, evaluating talent across the NBL. He’ll only be authorized to attend Hawks practices that would be open to all scouts, per NBA guidelines.
The move from the Warriors isn’t completely unprecedented for an NBA team. The New Orleans Pelicans have an Australian-based scout who liaises with Didi Louzada, whom the franchise drafted in 2019 with the 35th overall pick.