Rival executives that were hoping that Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander would ask out from the franchise reportedly have given up hope.
Gilgeous-Alexander, who was an All-NBA selection in the 2022-23 season, is under contract with the Thunder through the 2026-27 campaign.
“In terms of the possibilities that lie ahead, there’s this massive factor too: OKC still has all those draft picks that [Sam] Presti piled up in recent years (details here),” The Athletic’s Sam Amick wrote. “Come trade deadline time, having that sort of asset haul tends to open up all kinds of tantalizing conversations. It all starts with SGA, though. And yes, in case anyone wondered, all those rival executives who were hoping he would want out of Oklahoma City less than a year ago appear to have given up hope on that front.”
In the 2022-23 season, Gilgeous-Alexander averaged 31.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game while shooting 51.0 percent from the field and 34.5 percent from beyond the arc. He was also named an All-Star for the first time in his career.
The Thunder guard was the main reason why Oklahoma City exceeded expectations last season.
The Thunder lost the 2022 NBA Draft’s No. 2 overall pick – Chet Holmgren – to a season-ending injury prior to the 2022-23 campaign, but they still made the play-in tournament in the Western Conference last season.
Now, Oklahoma City appears to be on the rise in the Western Conference with young players like Holmgren, Jalen Williams, Cason Wallace, Josh Giddey and others around Gilgeous-Alexander.
The Thunder have a ton of draft capital as well that could help them make a deal in future seasons to bring in another star alongside Gilgeous-Alexander. The franchise is in a great spot, which is impressive since it has lost Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Paul George in free agency or trades in the past decade – forcing the franchise to hit the reset button.
The George trade is where the Thunder acquired Gilgeous-Alexander, and things have worked out about as well as the team could have asked for on that front.
Unless something drastically changes about the Thunder’s outlook, it’s hard to see Gilgeous-Alexander wanting to leave the franchise given the individual success that he’s had there.
The Thunder are hoping that will translate into team success, and potentially a playoff berth, in the 2023-24 season.