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The Thunder shouldn’t transfer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander


Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Photograph: Getty Photographs

Of the eight gamers at the moment averaging greater than 30 factors per sport, there’s one who’s not just like the others. Out of Luka Dončić , Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Jayson Tatum, Donovan Mitchell, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, I believe it’s straightforward to pick who I’m referring to.

The Oklahoma Metropolis guard is scoring 31 per evening on capturing splits of 54/39/94, and it’s unclear if he’s even going to make the All-Star crew. The West is loaded with perimeter expertise, he’s on the ceaselessly rebuilding Thunder, and also you want League Cross to see him play.

We do not know if he’s stats-bad crew man, as a result of each time OKC is surprisingly aggressive, GM Sam Presti medical doctors an harm report to remain within the lottery combine. Who is aware of what the top aim is from the Thunder’s trove of draft picks, however having that many belongings doesn’t imply it’ll be sufficient to persuade the Brick for Vic winner to commerce down.

Sure, this season can be taking part in out in another way if Chet Holmgren wasn’t sitting it out on account of harm. Nevertheless, SGA’s timeline appears to have already began. Each different man getting 30-plus in 2022 can be pissed about lacking the playoffs, and possibly nonetheless be irked in the event that they’re relegated to the play-in.

If the Thunder earn a nine-seed they’ll be ecstatic, despite the fact that they’ve the means to commerce responsibly and problem for extra. Whereas I’m not urging Presti to piss away the large stack chasing gut-shot flush attracts, he might bully his approach into the cash on the very least.

Right now the most significant OKC trade headlines revolve around moving Gilgeous-Alexander. I’m not going to propose deals for the guard because that’s what casual NBA fans do on IG in their spare time. Plus, SGA is excited for the future.

I empathize with Thunder beat writer Brandon Rahbar’s agitation because that’s what pundits have been doing with Damian Lillard for years. The difference between the two organizations is Portland seemingly maxed out its roster around their franchise player, and OKC is actively sandbagging promising seasons of SGA’s young career.

And that’s my concern. The Thunder’s current tanking isn’t as bad as peak Process, which is good. Joel Embiid has shown us that great players can overcome poor culture. The 76ers will be a top four team in the East as long as he’s surrounded by serviceable talent.

The side effect of Philly’s asset-forward approach is that even though the team had the capital to broker trades to improve the roster every offseason, there’s little to no continuity. Very rarely is a collection of talent good enough to win a championship without collectively experiencing playoff failure first.

Wouldn’t you love to see how the Thunder look if Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Lou Dort, and Tre Mann are given a real rotation power forward and center. Aleksej Pokusevski and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl are ostensibly G League players at this point in their careers if that’s not Poku’s ultimate destination.

I doubt Presti would even notice the missing draft picks that it would take to acquire Miles Turner from Indiana. A veteran center could improve a defense that’s giving up 54 paint factors per sport, which ranks fourth worst within the NBA. And it’d be good to have some type of inside infrastructure in place to ease the workload on Holmgren’s slight body when he returns subsequent 12 months.

Say they miss out on the No. 1 choose, and find yourself with Scoot Henderson as an alternative. Do they transfer on from Giddey in hopes of including one other guard able to getting 30? The place does Chet fall within the pecking order if that occurs?

These aren’t unhealthy points, however they have already got a rattling good drawback solver, and one who’s going underneath appreciated due to a GM counting picks of over wins.

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