Why the OKC Thunder shouldn’t trade before the deadline

OKC Thunder (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
OKC Thunder Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schroder (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Growth of young OKC Thunder stars is palpable:

OKC’s starting point-guard 21-year old Shai Gilgeous-Alexander gets better with every game he plays. In his second year in the NBA he is already demonstrating poise and excellent leadership skills.

He attacks the rim with authority, has such a smooth scoring ability, and great decision making which lets his teammates flourish but also allows him to put up sensational numbers that are spread across the stat sheet.

Before he became the go-to guy for the OKC Thunder, he was a rookie with the LA Clippers where he was introduced to the league. This year he has reached new heights, for the first time having the ball in his hands and being able to dictate the offense.

Head Coach Billy Donovan has trusted SGA to take the reins at the one position and he has seized the opportunity with undeniable confidence and wisdom. He is averaging 19.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.2 steals per game.

The guard never settles, even when he’s in the right spot he will work until he’s sure he’ll be able to convert the bucket, causing mayhem with his front pivot ball fake.

Alongside Dennis Schroder who is also on the rise, the pair are slowly making it known that they can excel against the best names in the game.

Trading any players on the Thunder could disrupt this development as this season has displayed that building around SGA is the right move.

The future is certainly bright for the Canadian native and being in the best environment with players like Paul, Schroder, Steven Adams and the up and coming talent around him is what could see this team go far.

While it is highly unlikely that the Thunder would trade the future All-Star, as he was brought in to be a mainstay. According to hearsay, there are some that believe General Manager Sam Presti could trade those mentioned above to make way for others to play with SGA.

But something that the second year player may not be able to get is another exceptional mentor like Paul who has taught him the ins and outs of the league and how to take better care of himself through a lengthy season. These are the lessons that make a bona fide star.

And lessons that can only be learned when you’ve got the right people around you. ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported that Paul and Gilgeous-Alexander are a

"combined 53-of-90 in the last 5 minutes of games with the score within 5 points. Oklahoma City has the second-most efficient offense so far (BOS is NO.1) in such minutes."

The duo is prospering on the floor together and to see this taken away could harm the Thunder’s chances at competing deep into the season. The three guard-lineup is blossoming which makes it even harder to contemplate trading one of these players.’

If there were a change of personnel, the way OKC run on both sides of the floor may alter which could be at the expense of SGA and Schroder. Their minutes or usage may decrease.

Plus when you already have players experiencing a breakthrough like SGA and Schroder, while getting victories why would you want to tinker with it?