Northwest Notes: Giddey, Jokic, Hyland, Vanderbilt

October 30, 2021

The Warriors were planning to take Josh Giddey with the seventh pick in this year’s draft if the Thunder hadn’t scooped him up at No. 6, Giddey’s father tells Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. Warrick Giddey says Golden State told his son’s agent, Daniel Moldovan, that Josh would be their target if he was still on the board.

The Thunder and the Warriors were the only teams to hold private pre-draft workouts with the Australian guard, and both came away impressed. Giddey is averaging 10.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.6 assists through his first five NBA games and appears ready for the league at age 19.

“We’re not overly surprised by what we’ve seen,” coach Mark Daigneault said, “but obviously there’s a lot of work to do and we’re excited to continue to work with him. He’s gotta get a lot better as well.” 

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Nuggets center Nikola Jokic didn’t consider sitting out Friday’s game after suffering a bruised knee earlier in the week, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Jokic underwent an MRI that showed no structural damage and said he plans to keep going as long as the knee doesn’t feel weak. “They’ve been making him go through the protocols, the testing, different drills and they felt that he was more than capable of getting out there and playing,” coach Michael Malone said.
  • The Nuggets have one of the lowest-scoring benches in the league and may turn to rookie guard Bones Hyland for a spark, Singer adds in a separate story. Hyland saw his first game action this week and scored seven points in 10 minutes. “I keep on saying it, but Bones Hyland,” Malone said. “That second unit’s struggling to score, make shots. Well Bones has shown he can do that.”
  • His Timberwolves teammates love playing alongside Jarred Vanderbilt, who got his first start of the season this week so he could guard Giannis Antetokounmpo, per Megan Ryan of The Star-Tribune. The fourth-year power forward is known for an aggressive, unselfish approach to the game. “He’s a contagious person,” Anthony Edwards said. “Anytime he’s on the floor, we’re playing better, we’re playing harder. We’re making the extra pass, making the extra closeout. We’re one step faster.”