NBA Rumors: Proposed Knicks-Thunder Trade Sends Shai Gilgeous-Alexander To New York For Four First-Round Picks

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander finding his way into the basket
Wikimedia | Denniscabrams

JB Baruelo

When the 2021-22 NBA season is officially over, the New York Knicks are expected to start their search for a new starting point guard. They may currently have Kemba Walker on their roster but with his disappointing performance this season, multiple signs are pointing out that the Knicks will try to get rid of him in the 2022 NBA offseason. In the past months, the Knicks have already been linked to several quality floor generals who could become available on the trading block this summer.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander To Knicks

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander waiting for the game to resume
Wikimedia | Frenchieinportland

One of the dream trade targets for the Knicks is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder. In a recent article, James Piercey of NBA Analysis Network came up with a hypothetical blockbuster trade idea that would enable the Knicks to acquire SGA from the Thunder this summer. In the proposed trade scenario, the Knicks would be sending a trade package that includes Derrick Rose, Evan Fournier, two 2023 first-round picks, a 2025 first-round pick, and a 2027 first-round pick to the Thunder in exchange for Gilgeous-Alexander.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Boosts Knicks' Backcourt

Kyle Kuzma guarding SGA
Wikimedia | Denniscabrams

Gilgeous-Alexander would undeniably be a great addition to the Knicks. His potential arrival in New York wouldn't only immediately address their need for a new starting point guard, but it would also help them improve their offensive efficiency which currently ranks No. 22 in the league, scoring 108.0 points per 100 possessions. He would give the Knicks a very reliable scoring option, rebounder, playmaker, perimeter defender, and floor spacer.

This season, the 23-year-old point guard averaged 24.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.3 steals while shooting 45.3 percent from the field and 30.0 percent from beyond the arc.

Fit With RJ Barrett & Julius Randle

RJ Barrett taking a free throw
Wikimedia | TempleM

There will definitely be some questions regarding Gilgeous-Alexander's fit with Knicks' franchise cornerstones RJ Barrett and Julius Randle. Like Barrett and Randle, SGA also needs the ball in his hands to maximize his effectiveness on the court. To accommodate him on their roster, Barrett and Randle would likely be needing to make certain adjustments in their game.

It would still take time before the trio of Gilgeous-Alexander, Barrett, and Randle meshes well on the court but once they find the perfect chemistry, the Knicks would have a realistic chance of returning to the playoffs next season.

Why The Thunder Would Make The Trade

Derrick Rose finding an open teammate
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As of now, the Thunder haven't given any indication that they are planning to trade Gilgeous-Alexander this summer. However, Piercey thinks that the idea of acquiring four future first-round picks, including two in the 2023 NBA Draft, might intrigue Thunder general manager Sam Presti.

"The best way to justify this trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder’s perspective is to provide a list of names. Victor Wembenyama. Scoot Henderson. Amen Thompson. Ausar Thompson. Nick Smith. Anthony Black. Derrick Lively. Those are a few of the names that highlight what’s expected to be a historic 2023 draft class. This trade gets the Thunder two extra kicks at that can."