Shai Gilgeous-Alexander hasn’t been a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder for 24 hours, and it looks like his role with the team has already increased.
In the aftermath of the blockbuster trade between the Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers this morning that sent Paul George to L.A. in exchange for Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, four unprotected first-round picks, one protected first-round pick and two pick swaps, NBA superstar Russell Westbrook could now be on the move.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Westbrook and his agent have engaged with Thunder general manager Sam Presti about a potential trade before the start of next season.
In short, the Oklahoma City point guard’s four-year, $170 million contract is no longer sensible on a non-contender’s roster.
“The two sides have 11 years of history together, and both understand that the time has likely come to explore trade possibilities for Westbrook,” Wojnarowski reported this afternoon.
With Westbrook potentially on the move, this opens the door for Gilgeous-Alexander to take over as the team’s starting point guard from day one, continuing the growth and success he found as a rookie in Los Angeles.
After being drafted No. 11 overall in the 2018 NBA Draft, the former Wildcat averaged 10.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game en route to 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie Second Team honors in his debut season.