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Josh Giddey has strong debut with Australia in exhibition play

Josh Giddey has strong debut with Australia in exhibition play

Projected first-round pick Josh Giddey on Tuesday turned in a strong performance to help Australia defeat Nigeria in exhibition play from Las Vegas, Nevada.

Giddey finished with 14 points, four rebounds, three assists and one blocked shot during the 108-69 victory. He converted on 3-of-8 shot attempts from the field and went 6-of-8 from the free-throw line in nearly 25 minutes of work.

The 6-foot-8 guard earned some run with the Australians after the team elected to rest starters Joe Ingles, Patty Mills and Matthew Dellavedova. He played with confidence throughout the blowout win and looked very much like a potential lottery selection this month.

Giddey, who was born in Sydney, was among the 24 finalists selected to play with Australia during the Olympics but was not named to the final 12-man roster. He was instead listed as one of three alternate players for Australia but will likely not make the trip to Tokyo.

He averaged 10.9 points, 7.6 assists, 7.3 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 28 games last season with the Adelaide 36ers. He led all players in the NBL in assists, while he finished sixth in rebounding. He was the youngest Australian player in the NBL to register a triple-double on April 25.

Giddey has drawn comparisons to fellow Australian Ben Simmons with his ability to lead his teams and flashy passes. While he is still a bit smaller than Simmons at this stage of his career, he is touted as a better shooter than Simmons was at the same age.

With Australia participating in tune-up games ahead of the Olympics, Giddey was expected to be heavily scouted by NBA teams during Australia’s stay in Las Vegas. While he has played just one game to this point, the chance to watch Giddey on Tuesday was likely valuable for scouts.

Australia will wrap up its exhibition schedule on Sunday with a second matchup against the United States. Teams and scouts could get an even better glimpse of Giddey against NBA players in that contest should he get playing time again.

He is most commonly projected to be a lottery pick on July 29 and can help his stock even more with a strong showing against the U.S.

This post originally appeared on Rookie Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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