Oklahoma City Thunder: Extending Shai Gilgeous-Alexander stabilizes future

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander signs a long-term deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder. 

Seven hundred and fifty-six days ago, the Oklahoma City Thunder made a cataclysmic franchise derision and honored Paul George’s trade request, and sent the All-Star to the LA Clippers. In return, the Thunder began their record collection of draft assets. In addition, they also acquired Danilo Gallinari and a rookie heading into his sophomore season named Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Under one month later, the franchise would ship away beloved cornerstone Russell Westbrook, and the fan base was not quite ready to fall in love with the wide-eyed young gun from Canada just yet.

Fast forward to the start of the 2019-20 campaign, the Thunder started 5-7, fans were truly displeased and in disbelief coming to grips with what they lost in the offseason. Then, on November 15, 2019, something just clicked, or as former Thunder guard Chris Paul put it; They let me hoop today. 

It was in that game Paul, Gallinari, Dennis Schroder, and, more importantly, SGA turned OKC’s season around.

Skip to the NBA bubble and Thunder nation had become fully enamored with their new point guard of the future in Gilgeous-Alexander. Unfortunately, Westbrook and company were too much, as the Rockets took out SGA and the Thunder in seven games.

During his third year, it was not about winning for Gilgeous-Alexander and the Thunder. However, when the new $172 million dollar man was in the lineup, the Thunder went 16-19. When he was sidelined due to injury, the Thunder went an abysmal 6-31.

Just that stat alone is a building block in the foundation to justify OKC’s derision to max out their point guard ahead of his fourth NBA season. Yes, the foot injury that forced SGA into street clothes for an extended period of time and caused him to sit out the Olympics is concerning.

With that said, it was not too alarming to cause OKC to pivot away from maxing out their guy and making him the highest earning Canadian born player in league history, surpassing the previous mark established by Jamal Murray and the Nuggets in July of 2019.

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All in all, if the Thunder did nothing else this entire offseason it would be a success because they got their franchise player to sign and he is locked in for the next six years. Thunder Nation should enjoy this large win, there should be many more on the horizon for the duration of their partnership with SGA.