Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander supplanted in MVP race by conference rival

Oklahoma City Thunder v Milwaukee Bucks
Oklahoma City Thunder v Milwaukee Bucks / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

As far as the 2023-24 MVP race is concerned, for the vast majority of the season it has been a two-man bout between Denver center Nikola Jokic and OKC Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, with both interchangeably being deemed odds-on favorites to claim the hardware.

Recently, however, a new challenger has seemingly stepped into the conversation and has created a bit of separation between these two aforementioned superstars, for not only is the Nuggets big still in possession of the number one spot on the NBA's ladder board but SGA has officially been dropped out of the top two.

As things currently stand, the 25-year-old ranks third in the new ranks, with Dallas Mavericks stud Luka Doncic leaping over to the second-highest slot.

Luka Doncic passes Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in MVP race

Closing in on his best season to date, the Slovenian baller is posting near triple-double averages of 33.9 points, 9.8 assists, 9.1 rebounds, and 1.5 steals while shooting 48.7 percent from the floor and 3.7 percent from distance.

With his stellar play to this point he has guided the Mavericks to a 43-29 record and, over the past 10 games, the club has gone 9-1.

Of course, despite this recent supplanting by Doncic, Gilgeous-Alexander still has the backing of several past MVP winners in his fight for the illustrious moniker, with Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal going as far as to say "The MVP is SGA. Period."

Frankly, considering his averages of 30.4 points, 6.3 assists, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.1 steals on 54.0 percent shooting from the floor and 36.7 percent shooting from deep, coupled with the fact that the Thunder are in a legitimate position to claim the top seed in the Western Conference at 50-22, his case is unbelivably strong, even if the odds-makers don't see it.

It will be interesting to see just how the race plays out over these next several weeks but, as coach Mark Daigneault alluded to recently, whether Gilgeous-Alexander wins the MVP award or not, the most important thing for him is trying to help his squad compete for a NBA Championship.