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NBA Players: 3 Reasons why Shai Gilgeous-Alexander could be an All-Star this season

ANALYST
Feature
29 Aug 2019, 19:57 IST

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is expected to become the new face of the Oklahoma City Thunder
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is expected to become the new face of the Oklahoma City Thunder

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was selected with the eleventh overall pick by the Charlotte Hornets in the 2018 NBA draft, although the Kentucky product was traded to the LA Clippers on the same day. Widely viewed as a raw talent, Gilgeous-Alexander wasn't expected to play a significant role during the 18-19 season, although the point guard forced himself into contention after averaging 19.0 points and 4.8 rebounds during Summer League.

Within weeks of the season beginning, Gilgeous-Alexander had already established himself as a regular starter, and the Toronto native went on to play in all 82 games (73 starts), averaging 10.8 points, 3.3 assists, and 2.8 rebounds per game. However, the young guard now finds himself in Oklahoma City after the Clippers dealt him to the Thunder in the blockbuster trade for Paul George.

Following his impressive rookie season, many expect Gilgeous-Alexander to make an immediate impact with his new team, and here we will take at three reasons why he could make an All-Star appearance.


#3 Lack of other stars in Oklahoma City

The young guard won
The young guard won't have to share the spotlight in Oklahoma City

While Chris Paul will enter the season as an Oklahoma City player, Presti and the Thunder are determined to offload the former All-Star. The last thing the Thunder want is CP3's presence disrupting Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's development, and other notable names such as Dennis Schroder also face an impending exit.

While this sets the Thunder up for an underwhelming season, it provides Gilgeous-Alexander with the platform to quickly emerge as the face of the team. The young point guard will also get plenty of press as he is continually compared to his predecessor, Russell Westbrook.

Nikola Vučević, Bradley Beal, and Karl-Anthony Towns all snuck into 2019's All-Star team due to a lack of talent around them, and a similar situation in Oklahoma City will only help to elevate Gilgeous-Alexander's numbers and visibility.

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