In the fiercely competitive realm of the NBA, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has emerged as a standout player, catching the eyes of fans and analysts alike. Currently, he stands with the eighth-shortest odds for the MVP award at +1800, placing him in close competition with renowned players like Nikola Jokic, Luka Doncic, and Jayson Tatum.
Amidst this elite group, SGA’s performance continues to draw attention, raising the question: does he have what it takes to clinch the MVP title this season? Last season, at just 24 years of age, SGA captivated audiences as he led the Oklahoma City Thunder to unexpected heights.
Averaging an impressive 31.4 PPG, 5.5 RPG, and 4.8 APG, he proved instrumental to the team’s success, even as they fell short in the play-in tournament. Despite this, SGA’s incredible efforts did not go unnoticed, earning him a place on the All-NBA First Team and a fifth-place finish in the MVP voting.
SGA's Season Spotlight
With a new season underway, the spotlight is once again on Gilgeous-Alexander as he seeks to build on his previous success. The Thunder, now armed with higher expectations and a healthier roster, including the return of Chet Holmgren, are poised for a potentially stellar season.
But, can SGA rise to the occasion and claim the coveted MVP title? Historically, the MVP award has oscillated between towering frontcourt players and nimble guards, with the latter category including the likes of James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and Stephen Curry.
Examining their past performances provides a benchmark for SGA, highlighting the need for consistent on-court presence and an elevated impact on the Thunder’s overall success. However, achieving this is no small feat.
SGA must not only maintain his stellar individual performance but also lead his team to a top seed in the Western Conference—a challenge underscored by the Thunder’s current middling rank according to the ESPN Basketball Power Index.
In conclusion, while Shai Gilgeous-Alexander undeniably possesses the talent and drive necessary for MVP contention, he faces a tough road ahead. His journey will require unwavering determination, a fortuitous run of good health, and a synergistic effort from his Thunder teammates. While the 2023-24 MVP title may be a steep climb, the coming seasons hold promising potential for this rising NBA star.