5 Stars Shai Gilgeous-Alexander should quietly be recruiting right now

The Thunder need Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to help deliver a star to OKC.
Oklahoma City Thunder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Oklahoma City Thunder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander / Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Donovan Mitchell

The Mitchell rumors are just starting to gain traction again. Cleveland suffered a shocking first-round playoff exit last season, which puts more pressure on the Cavaliers to win now. The four-time All-Star is signed through 2025, but rumors will only grow louder until Mitchell is locked in long-term. If he is unwilling to sign an extension, the Cavs will likely trade him in the summer of 2024 if not before.

The Thunder need experience, and Mitchell is no stranger to shining in the playoffs. The 27-year-old has two 50-point games and has 20 contests of 30-plus in his 45 career postseason tilts. Mitchell is an elite scorer who is never afraid of the moment. That could be a massive lift to the inexperienced Thunder and the two sides could chase their first championship together.

Most believe Mitchell will decline his player option in 2025 and leave Cleveland if the Cavs do not trade him sooner. It will be telling summer when extension talks begin. The franchise is unlikely to wait if Mitchell declines a max deal.

Can Shai Gilgeous-Alexander convince the four-time All-Star to join him in Oklahoma City? He needs to start now. Mitchell has led the Jazz and Cavaliers. Not exactly two traditional powers, so helping the Thunder win it all could be of significant interest.