Thunder: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander faces $296M decision following All-NBA nod

Dallas Mavericks v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Two
Dallas Mavericks v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Two / Joshua Gateley/GettyImages

Though OKC Thunder superstar Shai Gilgeous-Alexander may have fallen to second place in the running for this year's MVP award, recently it was announced that his productivity ultimately earned him a well-deserved first-team nod in this year's All-NBA voting turnout.

With 99 first-team votes and 495 points in total, the point guard tied Denver Nuggets star center and 2023-24's NBA MVP recipient, Nikola Jokic, in voting points which, in and of itself, is a major accomplishment.

However, not only does his second consecutive All-NBA selection give Gilgeous-Alexander bragging rights, but, with this one in particular, it now officially sets the Thunder cornerstone up for a potentially historic payday.

OKC Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander set for monster payday

By earning league honors such as MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, and All-NBA selections, players with between seven and nine years of experience in the association become eligible for a maximum salary with their next contract, which starts at 35 percent of the league's salary cap.

Though SGA may not be eligible for a new contract extension this coming offseason, with him earning his second All-NBA selection and considering he'll be entering the seventh year of his professional career in 2024-25, this breakdown ensures he'll have super-max eligibility come next season and, with the influx of money coming into the league following their new media-rights deals, his next payday is currently valued at $296 million over four years.

Of course, what makes these figures even more eye-catching is the fact that, by the time his final year would roll around, Gilgeous-Alexander would be earning a whopping $81.4 million, which, per Spotrac, is more than the entirety of his career earnings to this point in time (has made $81,018,675).

To put all this into perspective, the highest-paid played this season was Stephen Curry at $51.9 million while, while Jaylen Brown's $304 million deal currently ranks as the largest contract in NBA history.

Based on projections, the Thunder stud's next deal is expected to blow both of these figures out of the water.

Of course, though on the surface it may be a no-brainer decision for the 25-year-old to make, something to keep in mind when pondering on the idea of agreeing to terms on such a deal is that both Chet Holmgren and Jalen Williams will soon be looking to sign lofty extensions of their own, thus, assuming all three are signed, leading to far less financial flexibility for OKC to work with within just a few years, as their payroll would rise exponentially as a result.

These are the discussions that must be had before making such a top-billed decision like the one SGa finds himself heading toward.

Without question, Gilgoues-Alexander finds himself coming off of the best season of his career, as he would go on to post sensational per-game averages of 30.1 points, 6.2 assists, 5.5 rebounds, 2.0 steals, and just shy of a block while shooting 53.5 percent from the floor and 35.3 percent shooting from distance and earned his second All-Star and All-NBA selections along the way.

On top of individual accomplishments and accolades, led by his excellence, the Thunder went on to earn the Western Conference's top seed, becoming the youngest team to ever do so at an average age of 23.4, and earned their first postseason series win since 2016.

Should he ultimately put pen to paper on this illustrious deal, OKC fans and the entirety of the NBA community will almost certainly be in full agreement that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is worthy of every penny that the pact would earn him.