‘I love it here’: Josh Giddey wants to remain on the Thunder

Despite a reduction in role amid a hellish season, Josh Giddey’s love for the Oklahoma City Thunder remains unwavering.

Giddey wrapped up the worst season of his career yet. A reduction in role and playmaking turned the 21-year-old into an off-ball fourth option for OKC who struggled to gain the respect of defenses with a lack of an outside shot.

The Thunder benched Giddey in their last two losses of their Round 2 series against the Dallas Mavericks. Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault cited Isaiah Joe’s shooting as a reason they switched up the starters.

Giddey admitted it was an up-and-down roller coaster of a year for him. He was emotionally vulnerable in his exit interview. A fresh start might do him good on a squad that’ll let him be a traditional point guard.

But even if that makes the most tactical sense, Giddey admitted he’d love to stay with the Thunder. The third-year guard is eligible for an extension this offseason and what happens there will be very telling on his long-term future in OKC.

“I love it here. This is a home away from home. I love everything about this place, the city, the fans,” Giddey said. “The organization top to bottom is just unbelievable people throughout the building, and getting to come here to work every day is a lot of fun. It doesn’t feel like work.”

Giddey continued to talk about how therapeutic the time he spent with the Thunder was during this season as he adjusted to a new role on the court. His struggles took a toll on him mentally at various points this season.

Off the court, he continues to deal with a league investigation on an alleged inappropriate relationship with an underage girl. California police closed its investigation in January after it couldn’t corroborate criminal activity toward Giddey.

“Every time I wake up in the morning, I’m excited to be here. I’m excited to see the guys,” Giddey said. “Even through times throughout the year where maybe it was dark days, maybe things weren’t going great, getting to come in here every day and see my teammates made everything better.

“I just love the group of guys we’ve got and excited to keep growing with them and with Mark. Everybody top to bottom has been unbelievable for me this entire season. I just love coming to work here every day.”

Regardless of what happens in the offseason, Giddey is fond of his time on the Thunder. He spoke highly of OKC and fought back tears in his exit interview.

A clean slate might be beneficial for Giddey, but that doesn’t mean a possible exit from the Thunder wouldn’t sting the 21-year-old after spending the first three years of his career in OKC.

Story originally appeared on Thunder Wire