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Josh Giddey avoids charges in probe of alleged improper relationship

Oklahoma City's Josh Giddey and the Thunder have declined to comment on the matter. (Peter K. Afriyie/AP)
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Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey won’t face charges in California after police opened an investigation of allegations he was involved in an improper relationship with a minor.

Police in Newport Beach, Calif., announced Wednesday night that they completed their probe and were “unable to corroborate any criminal activity” related to the 21-year-old Giddey.

Detectives had “reviewed all of the available information” during a “thorough and exhaustive examination,” police said.

After pictures purporting to show Giddey with a girl alleged to be underage circulated online in November, the NBA launched its own probe. A person close to the league indicated Wednesday that the NBA was continuing to review the matter.

In December, Commissioner Adam Silver said his league would take a “back seat” to any criminal investigation regarding a player.

“I think if you look back,” he added at the time, “I can’t think of many circumstances where we’ve suspended a player based on an allegation alone.”

Attorney Gloria Allred confirmed to the Associated Press last month that she had been hired to represent the family of the girl.

Giddey, a native of Australia in his third NBA season, has declined to comment on the situation, as has the Thunder. The No. 6 pick in the 2021 draft has appeared in all but one of the 40 games thus far for Oklahoma City, which at 27-13 is in second place in the Western Conference.

Since the allegations emerged, Giddey has been the target of booing by fans during road games, including at contests in Los Angeles this week against the Lakers and Clippers.

While Giddey has been in the Thunder’s starting lineup for all of his 39 games this season, his average minutes have dropped to 24.8, compared to 31.1 in 2022-23. He is also averaging career lows in points (11.8), rebounds (6.1) and assists (4.6), but his improved three-point shooting (a career-high 36.4 percent) has helped the Thunder set a pace for its best season since it went to the conference finals in 2016.