Western Notes: SGA, Gobert Trade, Daniels, J. Green

Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is having an outstanding season in 2022/23, and looks destined for his first All-Star and All-NBA appearances. He’s third in the league in scoring at 31.1 PPG, and is also averaging 4.7 RPG, 6.0 APG, 1.7 SPG and 1.1 BPG on .500/.324/.926 shooting through 23 games (35.7 MPG).

In a lengthy profile on Gilgeous-Alexander’s emergence as a star, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman (subscriber link) writes that, despite external speculation that the 24-year-old might grow impatient with the Thunder’s rebuild and eventually seek a trade, there’s no sense of that happening within the organization. Gilgeous-Alexander says he has a lot of faith in GM Sam Presti.

It’s always easy to trust someone when they haven’t given you a reason not to trust them,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “It’s always easier to trust someone when they tell you something and it happens. And that’s been my relationship with Sam so far.

Everything he’s told me has happened, and he’s never lied to me … It’s easy to work — well, it’s crazy that basketball is work — but it’s easier to play basketball and put your all into every day and believe in the future when it’s a guy like that running the show.”

Here’s more from the West:

  • Prior to the Timberwolves‘ matchup with the Jazz on Friday, which the Wolves won 118-108 to move to 13-12, Michael Rand of The Star Tribune wrote an article about whether Minnesota would still make the Rudy Gobert deal right now, with the knowledge that the start to the season would be uneven. He believes the answer is “probably,” because while there have definitely been bumps along the way, Gobert has played better of late and he’s starting to develop some chemistry with teammates.
  • Dyson Daniels, the No. 8 overall pick in June’s draft, has emerged as an immediate contributor to the West’s No. 1 seed due to his strong defense, writes William Guillory of The Athletic. The 19-year-old Pelicans guard says he welcomes the challenge of guarding top players. “I like when people go at me. I love to accept that challenge,” Daniels said. “I want to show them that I’m here for a reason and I can defend. … Guys always want to go at the rookie, and I’m fine with that. It only makes me better.”
  • Rockets guard Jalen Green, last year’s No. 2 overall pick, has had a bit of an up-and-down second season thus far, which is to be expected for a young player on a rebuilding club. According to Kelly Iko of The Athletic, Green focuses on big-picture growth and has proven to be a sponge when it comes to soaking up information and watching film.
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