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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander could become 1st NBA player to earn $80+ million in one season

Zack Geogheganby:Zack Geoghegan05/23/24

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On Wednesday night, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was tabbed to the 2023-24 All-NBA First Team. With that, the former Kentucky Wildcat is in line to earn one of the most lucrative contracts in NBA history.

By cracking his second consecutive All-NBA First Team, Gilgeous-Alexander is now eligible to sign a four-year super max extension with the Thunder during the 2025 offseason. According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, that means SGA could be the first player ever to make at least $80 million in one season if he were to sign the extension with OKC next summer.

Marks laid out what the year-by-year salary for Gilgeous-Alexander would be if he ultimately signs the super max, which would kick in beginning with the 2027-28 season.

  • 2027-28: $65,684,850
  • 2028-29: $70,939,638
  • 2029-30: $76,194,426
  • 2030-31: $81,449,214
  • TOTAL: $294,268,128

There are a handful of benchmarks that must be met in order for someone to become eligible for the super max. For Gilgeous-Alexander, making back-to-back All-NBA teams pushed him into that category.

The last contract SGA signed was a five-year rookie extension deal in August 2021 worth $179 million for an average of just under $36 million per season. That contract runs through 2026-27 and he would become an unrestricted free agent in the 2027 offseason if he does not sign the super max with OKC.

That being said, the Thunder will likely do everything in the franchise’s power to influence Gilgeous-Alexander into signing the super-max extension next offseason. Locking him up through the 2030-31 season would keep him in OKC until he’s 32 years old — throughout the duration of his prime.

He’d be more than worth the price too. SGA was fifth in MVP voting in 2022-23 and was runner-up to Nikola Jokic this season after he led the Thunder to 57 wins and the top seed in the Western Conference at just 25 years old.

During the 2023-24 campaign, GIigeous-Alexander averaged 30.1 points, 6.2 assists, 5.5 rebounds, and two steals in 34 minutes per outing. He shot 53.5 percent from the field, 35.3 percent from deep, and 87.4 percent from the line.

With a new TV deal looming for the NBA, these types of massive contracts will become more commonplace in the coming years. However, $80 million in one season has yet to be touched (Giannis Antetokounmpo is closest; he’s set to make $79 million in 2027-28). If SGA does sign the super max next offseason, his contract would be the second-most lucrative of all time. Only Boston’s Jaylen Brown and his $320 million extension exceed what Gilgeous-Alexander could make with his next deal.

For additional reference, the second- and third-most lucrative active NBA contracts are held by a pair of former ‘Cats: the Lakers’ Anthony Davis ($279 million) and the Suns’ Devin Booker ($258 million). If Gilgeous-Alexander signs the super max, those three alone would combine to make over $831 million throughout the duration of their deals.

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2024-06-12