Oklahoma City Thunder: Trading Shai Gilgeous-Alexander would be a terrible mistake

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Why trading Shai Gilgeous-Alexander would be a mistake for the Oklahoma City Thunder

Roughly a handful of players in the entire NBA – and that may be reaching – are untouchable. Oklahoma City Thunder rising star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is not one of those select players.

However, when Zach Lowe discussed the possibility of the Thunder dealing SGA for the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming 2020 Draft on November 20, it was pretty surprising.

When the Thunder dealt Paul George to the LA Clippers and then Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets one month later in 2019; it seemed inevitable that SGA would be a foundational piece of the franchises rebuild.

Coupled with the fact, Shaivonte had a productive 2019-20 campaign and a solid showing in his second playoff appearance it would be a large and unnecessary risk to trade him for a lottery ticket first overall pick.

According to Lowe, if the Thunder did in fact acquire the first pick they would select LaMelo Ball, a guard. However, the Thunder already possesses two young stud guards, in SGA (22) and Luguentz Dort (21) who are poised to be the team’s backcourt of the future. Help in the frontcourt is where the team should turn their attention as Steven Adams is aging, Danilo Gallinari is likely to depart in free agency, and Darius Bazley (20) is not ready to take on the sole responsibility of the front lines, or at least when we last left him he was not.

Now that Oklahoma City has a head coach in place, they could benefit from some continuity. Since Kevin Durant departed in the summer of 2016, the Thunder has undergone significant changes to their core in each subsequent off-season. Let’s run down the timeline:

Oklahoma City Thunder timeline of transactions

  • 2016: Kevin Durant departs, Thunder trades Serge Ibaka in a package for Victor Oladipo to pair with Russell Westbrook.
  • 2017: OKC trades Oladipo in a blockbuster move to add Paul George, then in a separate move add Carmelo Anthony.
  • 2018: Thunder trades Carmelo Anthony to the Hawks, adding Dennis Schroder
  • 2019: This one needs no recap but, OKC deals PG to the Clippers for a massive haul including SGA, Danilo Gallinari, and several draft picks. Then they acquired Chris Paul in their swap for Russ.

Next. Atlanta Hawks: What should the Hawks do with the 6th pick in the draft?. dark

That is a lot of roster turnover in fewer than five years after they had a set core of KD, Russ, and Ibaka for nearly a decade. For the Thunder to return to contender status, they must regain some continuity and that will start by not trading Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.