In the whirlwind of the NBA’s Most Valuable race, certain names perennially dominate the conversation. However, amid the towering presence of Philadelhia 76ers’ Joel Embiid, Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic, and Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo in the current rankings—also the last three winners of the MVP—an electrifying force is quietly and persistently making his case: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Placing fourth behind three former MVPs who are still in their prime is great, but SGA arguably deserves more.

The 25-year-old franchise star’s ascent has been nothing short of remarkable. He reached a new level in the 2022-23 season by becoming a 30-plus per game scorer, which then helped earn him All-NBA First Team honors. Then, this year, he kept the grind and progressed further.


Averaging an astounding 31.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and leading the league with 2.7 steals per game, Gilgeous-Alexander has not only maintained but elevated his game across multiple fields, showcasing newfound prowess and remarkable efficiency. All of those are accompanied by shooting 54.3% from the field and 90.9% (fifth-highest in the league) from the charity stripe.

Further, the Thunder’s surprising 21-9 record, landing them in the second spot in the Western Conference, speaks volumes about both SGA’s individual brilliance and his instrumental role in the team’s success. It’s not just about his personal statistics; it’s about the impact he’s had on shaping a competitive and cohesive unit in Oklahoma City.

What further solidifies Gilgeous-Alexander’s MVP contention is his chemistry within OKC’s blossoming young talent. Alongside the two-way threat Chet Holmgren, effective scorer Jalen Williams, playmaker Josh Giddey, and prime defender Lu Dort, Gilgeous-Alexander forms the nucleus of an extraordinarily promising core.

Yet, what sets him apart is not just his individual excellence but the manner in which he elevates the performances of those around him. He’s not just a star player; he’s a catalyst for the team’s collective growth and success.

In contemplating his MVP candidacy, it’s essential to gauge impact beyond raw statistics. Gilgeous-Alexander’s influence extends far beyond his impressive numbers. He’s a leader who not only shines individually but uplifts his team, instilling confidence and cohesion among a young Thunder roster that continues to surpass expectations.

Should Gilgeous-Alexander be in the same breath as Embiid, Jokic, and Antetokounmpo in the MVP race? Undoubtedly, and we may even argue that he can take Antetokounmpo’s spot since the Bucks have had struggles despite acquiring Damian Lillard.

He just dropped 40 points on Jokic and the defending champion Nuggets and 31 against Embiid and the Sixers, as well as 30-point games left and right, including against a No. 1 seeds elite-ranked defenses, talent-laden squads, and more. He’s just a walking bucket.

Nevertheless, SGA’s relentless drive, unparalleled statistical output, and transformative impact on the Thunder’s fortunes firmly warrant his place among the league’s elite.

As the season rolls on, expect Gilgeous-Alexander’s MVP campaign to gain more momentum, not just in numbers but in the intangibles that define a true leader and a game-changer. Keep an eye on this stud who could be on the brink of superstardom, especially since his ongoing journey toward the MVP plum might just redefine the narrative of this NBA season.