The Oklahoma City Thunder may have a plethora of picks over the last few seasons, but they also have their long-term building block. Sadly, the team has not been able to see former Wildcat Shai Gilgeous-Alexander play since late March.
He’s been sidelined with a foot injury that is apparently more severe than most originally thought. According to Joe Mussatto of the Oklahoman, Gilgeous-Alexander is dealing with a “significant tear” in his plantar fascia.
“It’s not something that you should really mess around with. If we got aggressive with him, it could compromise him long-term, which makes no sense for us, for a player that is as important to our franchise as he is,” Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault said.
For the Thunder, they’re not even in contention to be in the play-in tournament. While a full month with Gilgeous-Alexander may have produced a different result, this team is in no position to jeopardize the future of a young star.
With seven games left, it’s unlikely SGA gets even close to making a return this season.
The 6-foot-6, 22-year-old Alexander was in the midst of a career year with the Thunder, averaging over 20 points per game for the first time. He was also notching 5.9 assists per game, almost double his previous high of 3.3.
Gilgeous-Alexander was also at the peak of his three-year career in terms of efficiency, shooting over 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from deep. He was 9.2 percent from the free-throw line away from being in the 50-40-90 club.
That said, it’s been far from just SGA that’s gone down this season.
The NBA has had a hectic season in terms of injuries to big-time stars. It’s easy to point of the reduced and congested schedule as to one reason why, but nonetheless, it’s been tough seeing so many stars sidelined over the past few months.