NBA trade rumors concerning Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander are still alive. During the offseason, reports suggested that the Toronto Raptors were interested in trading for the fifth-year guard.
Nevertheless, a trade package never materialized. After Chet Holmgren — the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft — suffered a season-ending Lisfranc injury during the CrawsOver Pro-Am in Seattle back in August, fans thought a trade was inevitable.
Per a few NBA betting sites, the Thunder have the 27th-lowest odds to win the championship this season. In other words, it’s unlikely. Quite a few sportsbooks are not expecting them to make the playoffs.
Per an anonymous NBA executive, via The Athletic, the Shai Gilgeous-Alexander/Toronto Raptors rumors are still very much alive.https://t.co/SVkLZHaEOV
— Raptors Rapture (@raptorsrapture) November 10, 2022
Now, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic, a team trading for Gilgeous-Alexander could be coming sooner rather than later. And that unknown team could be the Raptors.
“You keep hearing that Shai is frustrated with the losing, and so I think that’s the Toronto thing that we’ve all heard about with their interest in Shai this summer,” an unnamed executive told Amick.
“But how far do [the Thunder] want to push this [tanking effort]?”
That’s the ultimate question at the moment. Oklahoma City is currently 4-7 and ranks 13th in the Western Conference standings.
Will the Thunder trade Shai Gilgeous-Alexander this season? Raptors remain interested
Most sportsbooks gave the Thunder a projected win total of 23.5 wins for this season. Oddsmakers are expecting them to miss the playoffs for the third straight season.
So, it makes sense why G.M. Sam Presti might be tempted to trade Gilgeous-Alexander to an Eastern Conference team, especially if the price is right.
Would the Kentucky product mind waiting another season for Holmgren’s return? By the sounds of it, he wants to win right now. It is unknown whether or not the 24-year-old has asked for a trade.
Through 12 games this season, the Raptors are 7-5 and rank fifth overall in the conference. Toronto’s projected win total this season is 45.5 wins. This explains why the Ontario native wants off the Thunder.
Last season, Toronto finished 48-34 (.585) and fifth in the East. However, during the first round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs, the Raptors were bounced in six games against the Philadelphia 76ers.
If Toronto’s front office plans to return to the playoffs this season, adding Gilgeous-Alexander would be a logical move. So far, the guard is posting career-high numbers for points, steals, and blocks.
He is averaging 31.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.9 steals, and 1.5 blocks. Plus, he’s shooting 53.7% from the field and 32.1% from downtown.
To answer the question, the Thunder will trade Shai Gilgeous-Alexander this season. If not the Raptors, another team could make a big offer. But Presti will only pull the trigger if he can acquire multiple draft picks and dependable role players in return.
Raptors G.M. Bobby Webster plans to monitor this situation.
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