So I am aware that the Oklahoma-City Thunder are far away from contention but if you as me they have arguably the best young core in the league at the moment with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander,Josh Giddey,Darius Bazley, and Alecsej Pokusevski let’s throw Luguentz Dort in there as well I just think there might be a possibility he bolts Oklahoma to go elsewhere since he will be a free-agent next summer. Back to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander who I have followed since he was coached by John Calipari at Kentucky and John had nothing but great things to say about the young guard which made me keep an eye on him when he played on the Los Angeles Clippers. What most fail to acknowledge is that Shai was a big reason why the Los Angeles Clippers were able to push the Durant-Curry lead Warriors to 6 games in the first round, he lined up with Patrick Beverley in the back-court and both comprised for what was possibly the best defensive back-court in the league that season.
So now he is in Oklahoma City and in the second half of this season it seems like he is scoring over 30 points every single night. It’s unfortunate that Josh Giddey who was selected 6th overall by the franchise has not been able to stay healthy in the second half of the season but he has proven that he will make the ideal back-court mate with Shai being that he can push the ball up the floor and is as unselfish as they come passing the basketball and surprisingly he is a pretty good rebounder, his shot needs some work but that’s nothing he can’t work on this coming summer as he looks to ramp up his scoring numbers next season. So the thing with Shai is he really is the most complete point-guard in the league, most would say Luka but Shai is a better defender and can do everything Luka can do on the basketball court. He’s got great size which allows him to play both guard positions and you can just see the improvement he has made in his isolation game this season.
He reminds me a lot of Kyrie Irving in that he knows how to get to his sweet spots on the court and plays at a very good pace. He is a terrific decision-maker once he gets into the lane and knows how to finish at the rim consistently. Most would have Ja Morant,Steph Curry,Luka Doncic,Trae Young,and Chris Paul ahead of him right now but by 2024 I believe Shai will be ready to take the throne as the best point guard in the league and Doncic is the only guard I see who will be on par with him. The Oklahoma-City Thunder at this very moment have a plethora of draft-picks which they can maneuver by the time the 2024 draft comes around when Bronny James will be available and no one has more leverage than Sam Presti right now in terms of giving LeBron James the perfect setting for when he ever elects to bolt Los Angeles.
If I’m LeBron James I would want to play with a guard like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Shai would definitely alleviate life for LeBron a lot like Kyrie Irving did in Cleveland specially as his career winds down over the next few years. I’ve heard some claim Shai is not cut out to be a franchise player and I just think that is absolutely blasphemous, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has played at an all-star level in the second half of this season and you can see their young pieces Bazley and Pokusevski are starting to play a lot more consistent as the season winds down. I would not be shocked what so ever if this Thunder team makes the playoffs next season, they have played better than I expected and I believe Shai will be ready to lead the Thunder to new heights next season as their young core continues to develop right before our own eyes. They could be so good next season LeBron might think different for once and choose to play with Shai,Bazley,Giddey, and Pokusevski and sign with them next summer.
To conclude I have always admired Sam Presti as a GM, he really did his homework before traading away Paul George for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. It will be a worthwhile investment as Shai is only 23 years old and we could witness greatness from Shai from now to 2030. The only name that comes to mind as a comparison is Chris Paul since he is the only real two way point-guard who plays both ends at an above average level, Shai called himself the black Steve Nash and now I understand what he meant by proclaiming himself that. Steve Nash was a 2-time league MVP in his prime in Phoenix and the best point guard in the game anchoring a 7 seconds or less offense coached by offensive wizard Mike D’Antoni. The one knock on Nash was we were always left dissapointed wondering why he wouldn’t exert himself offensively more often, Shai I believe will be a taller,more athletic,better defending, and more assertive version of Steve Nash which speaks to how great of a player Shai will be in the future, till next time.