Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has blossomed into a superstar the past couple of years with the Oklahoma City Thunder. And now, there is at least one person in the NBA who thinks Gilgeous-Alexander is worthy of one of the league’s highest honors. Ahead of the Denver Nuggets game against the Thunder on Wednesday, Nuggets head coach Mike Malone made this startling admission as per Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman.

While Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is certainly playing like a franchise superstar, it’s tough to envision him having a legitimate case for the league’s MVP award. Going back to the 1955-56 season, only two players have won the MVP award despite being on a team with a losing record Bob Pettit won the MVP award during the 1955-56 season with the St. Louis Hawks finishing 33-39. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won the MVP award during the 1975-76 season with the Los Angeles Lakers finishing 40-42.

Currently, the Thunder are 7-10 and sitting in 12th place in the Western Conference standings. Record aside, Gilgeous-Alexander is certainly putting up MVP-type numbers. On the season, he’s averaging 31.3 points per game, 4.6 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.8 steals while shooting 52.6 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from three-point range. His points per game, assists and field goal percentage are all career-highs.

With the Thunder having an overall record of 97-146 since Gilgeous-Alexander has arrived, rumors have swirled about him being unhappy and his name has come up in potential trade chatter. As far as his MVP candidacy, it appears as there are segments of fans who agree with Mike Malone in that he should be in the running as well.

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