Thunder To Sign Shai Gilgeous-Alexander To Five-Year Max Extension

August 2, 2021

The Thunder and guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander have agreed to a five-year, $172MM maximum rookie contract extension, agent Thaddeus Foucher informs Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (via Twitter).

Gilgeous-Alexander will still be on his rookie contract for one final season, and is set to make $5,495,532 in 2021/22. His new deal will kick in for the 2022/23 season. The new contract’s precise value will be contingent on exactly where the 2022/23 season cap lands.

As of this writing, Gilgeous-Alexander is expected to earn $29.75MM, based on the new $119MM salary cap projection for the 2022/23 season, as Bobby Marks of ESPN notes (Twitter link). Per Marks’s projections, SGA will net $39.27MM during the final year of the deal, in 2026/27.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN writes (via Twitter) that the contract will include a 30% “escalator clause” that could increase the $172MM base of the deal into a $207MM agreement, provided Gilgeous-Alexander is voted onto one of the three All-NBA teams during the length of the contract. Woj adds that there are no early termination options for either side in the new extension.

The 6’6″ combo guard was selected with No. 11 pick in the 2018 draft out of Kentucky and enjoyed an All-Rookie Second Team-caliber debut NBA season with the Clippers. He was the key element in a pick-heavy trade that sent All-Star forward Paul George to Los Angeles, and has since proved his mettle in two seasons with Oklahoma City.

Gilgeous-Alexander, 23, missed most of the 2020/21 season’s second half with a plantar fasciitis injury. When he was healthy, he produced at a high level. The 6’6″ 23-year-old averaged 23.7 PPG, 5.9 APG, and 4.7 RPG in 35 games last year. He posted a solid slash line of .508/.418/.808.

An excellent scorer with room to grow on defense, Gilgeous-Alexander has future All-Star potential. The Thunder were wise to lock him in to a long-term deal, even though the team appears more interested in asset accrual over winning in the short term.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.