Since arriving with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2019, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has improved his output from year to year. In particular, SGA has come out of the gates hot during the 2022-23 season, averaging 31.6 points and 5.6 assists in his first ten games, his latest effort being a 39-point explosion against the Milwaukee Bucks.

However, the story of SGA’s life thus far as the Thunder’s undisputed best player has been one of losing, and surely enough his scoring masterclass against the Bucks ended in defeat once more.

Thus, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will never escape trade talks for as long as he’s with the Thunder, as many around the NBA think that SGA has plenty of frustrations regarding his current situation. An unnamed front-office executive said that these rumblings are the cause of the rumors that link Gilgeous-Alexander to, perhaps, a trade to the Toronto 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. But how far do (the Thunder) want to push this (tanking effort)?” the executive told The Athletic (subscription required).

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Nonetheless, it seems as if these rumors linking SGA with the Raptors are rooted on nothing but an easy narrative, with Gilgeous-Alexander being born and raised in Toronto, Ontario.

There’s no reason for the Thunder to ship away Shai Gilgeous-Alexander as well, especially after he just signed a $180 million deal that should keep him in Oklahoma City until at least the end of the 2026-27 season.

Moreover, players of SGA’s caliber don’t just grow on trees. The Thunder brass could only hope that the players they end up drafting with their plethora of future first-rounders come the least bit close to approximating Gilgeous-Alexander’s impact on the court.

SGA has also reiterated that he is in it for the long haul, as he recognized the reality of the situation he finds himself in. Yes, the Thunder will keep on losing for the foreseeable future. But the Thunder will want to make sure that Gilgeous-Alexander is still in town when they turn things around.