OKC Thunder backcourt CP3 and SGA get an early start on building chemistry

OKC Thunder: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chris Paul. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)
OKC Thunder: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chris Paul. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images) /

With the exit of an OKC Thunder superstar point guard, Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will be featured this season and got an early start on building chemistry.

Two of the newest members of the OKC Thunder arrived via the trades of the franchises top two players. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was a key part of the Paul George trade to the LA Clippers and already pegged as a cornerstone for the team’s future.

Conversely, veteran Chris Paul who was part of the Russell Westbrook trade to the Houston Rockets isn’t expected to last the full season in Oklahoma. As such, his role and presence with the team weren’t certain. Would Paul be as invested in developing a rapport with a club he would likely exit by the trade deadline?

Perhaps that question got answered via the recent social media posts which noted CP3 and SGA putting in time together on the hardwood. It’s a great sign Paul is investing in SGA and building early chemistry.

In fact, these two players may be the two most vital members of at least the initial start of the season for the OKC Thunder.

Although Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chris Paul both technically line up to play the point guard role it will behoove OKC Thunder head coach Billy Donovan to pair them as starters. Certainly, Gilgeous-Alexander has the length and defensive chops to guard shooting guards.

More from Thunderous Intentions

Brett Dawson’s The Athletic recent article dives into Gilgeous-Alexander’s offseason work emphasizing the uniqueness and drive of the Canadian. Since it’s a paid for subscription piece TI can only share bits and pieces like the above social media post.

Dawson interviewed Gilgeous-Alexander’s trainer Olin Simplis who offered insight on what areas of Shai’s game they are focused on growing this offseason and provides comments on where he’s at in the process.

Simplis believes SGA will eventually be considered the best point guard from his draft class – yes even above Trae Young. Suffice to say it’s worth the read and aligns with much of what we’ve hinted at on Thunderous Intentions (click on the blue box below in which TI writer Noah Schulte describes how the pair can thrive together). Shai is a special kid who doesn’t shy away from the moment, is driven, and a hard worker.

In terms of the superstar who exited this summer, I think the key similarity Thunder Nation will notice immediately between Westbrook and Gilgeous-Alexander is he possesses that same drive and will to win.

Next. How Thunder backcourt duo Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander can thrive together. dark

With Chris Paul suddenly putting in extra time with the Kentucky product it speaks to the respect level and that can only bode well for Shai’s development.