For the second time in eight days, the New York Knicks will be tasked with trying to contain Shay Gilgios Alexander. After the Oklahoma City Thunder scored 145 points last weekend at MSG, the Knicks will be looking to get revenge on their rebuilding squad.
The Thunder suffered a severe blow during the offseason when Chet Holmgren went down with Lefranc’s injury that will keep him out for the entirety of the 2022-23 season. There were high expectations for Holmgren in his rookie season after being placed second overall, but OKC fans will have to wait another year to see a Gonzaga product showcase. Meanwhile, Gilgeous-Alexander was making an absolute offer.
He ranks fourth in average in the league at 31.1 points per game and shot on 53.4% from the floor. His impact doesn’t stop at the offensive end, as he averages a career high of 1.8 steals and 1.4 blocks per game. In a win over the Knicks on November 13, the SGA was too much for New York as it scored 37 points (13-of-22) and added eight assists, five rebounds, three steals and two blocks in 36 minutes.
With Gilgeous-Alexander on a team that continues to sit at the bottom of the Western Conference, trade rumors have already begun. He’s been linked to the Raptors, which is fitting considering he’s a Toronto native. With the Knicks’ Donovan Mitchell passing over the summer, New York could (and should) be in the SGA race if OKC made it possible.
Will the Knicks trade Thunder star Shay Gilgios Alexander?
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, NBA executives believe the Knicks are holding their pool of first-round picks for a “superstar.” This isn’t a surprise, considering New York has been trying to bring a superstar to MSG for years now. Shay Gilgos Alexander hasn’t yet qualified to be a major star, but at the age of 24, he’s well on his way to becoming an NBA star.
He’s dealt with injuries in the past, but if he can stay healthy this season, he’ll likely be in Salt Lake City for the 2023 NBA All-Star Game in February. With the trade deadline happening just over a week before All-Star weekend, the SGA could be on a new team by that point.
Before the start of the season, Thunder general manager Sam Presti reiterated that Gilgeous-Alexander had made a “long-term commitment” to OKC. But with SGA continuing to outpace the team it’s on, Presti could decide to add draft picks to Thunder’s treasure chest.
Just as with Donovan Mitchell, New York has what it takes to trade Gilgos Alexander. One of the Knicks’ most glaring issues so far this season is that the team’s cap is mediocre because they’re still without a superstar. SGA will change that.
One of the main questions about trading for Mitchell has centered around a Brunson-Mitchell backcourt, but SGA is a dominant two-way player. And with the guard in the first season of the five-year extension he’s signed to, New York won’t have to worry about the guard entering free agency until the summer of 2027.
Even if Gilgeous-Alexander isn’t traded before the deadline, there are some rumblings about how the guard feels about going through another losing season in Oklahoma City. If the summer of 2023 heads up a potential SGA deal, the Knicks could have another repeat of this previous season by bidding with Presti for the Thunder star. Hopefully this time it works out in New York’s favour.
The bottom line is that if the Thunder show willingness to discuss a potential trade for Shay Gilgos and Alexander, the Knicks need to do what they can to bring the guard to New York City. If not, another Atlantic Division team would.