Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has experienced a minor setback ahead of his fifth NBA season.
On Wednesday afternoon, it was announced by the Oklahoma City Thunder that the 24-year-old point guard suffered a Grade 2 left MCL sprain and will be reevaluated in two weeks. According to that timeline, SGA would miss the beginning of training camp and at least the first two preseason games for OKC, which are scheduled for Oct. 3 and 5.
During the 2021-22 season with the Thunder, the former Kentucky Wildcat averaged 24.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 5.9 assists in nearly 35 minutes per contest.
This news for OKC comes shortly after it was revealed that the franchise’s No. 2 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, Chet Holmgren, will miss his entire rookie season due to a Lisfranc injury in his right foot. Luckily for the Thunder, SGA should be ready to return by the beginning of the regular season on Oct. 19.
Through four NBA seasons, the last three spent with the Thunder, Gilgeous-Alexander has steadily developed into one of the league’s top overall players. On Tuesday, ESPN ranked SGA as the 48th-best player in the NBA. However, due to the Thunder’s desire to tank the last two seasons away for better draft odds, the former Wildcat hasn’t seen the floor as often as he’d probably like. SGA played just 35 games in 2020-21 and then 56 in 2021-22.
Hopefully this is just a minor inconvenience for Gilgeous-Alexander and he can return to the hardwood at 100 percent by the season opener.