In a package featuring a truckload of draft capital and one of the Los Angeles Clippers’ leading scorers in Danilo Gallinari, young point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexender was the crown jewel that powered the trade that sent Paul George to Los Angeles.
Gilgeous-Alexander has more than showed he was worth the move this season. He continued that ascent Monday with a triple-double never before seen by a player his age.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: Rebound machine
Facing a Minnesota Timberwolves team missing star center Karl-Anthony Towns, Gilgeous-Alexander cleaned up the glass on the way to his first career triple-double with 20 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists on 8-of-12 shooting.
That performance made Gilgeous-Alexander the youngest player to ever post a 20-rebound triple-double, breaking a 26-year-old record held by Shaquille O’Neal.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (21 years, 185 days) is the youngest player in @NBAHistory to notch a 20-rebound triple-double, passing Shaquille O'Neal. Shaq was 21 years, 259 days old on Nov. 20, 1993 when he posted 24 points, 28 rebounds, and 15 blocks. @EliasSports pic.twitter.com/U2lBZ6v8L8— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) January 14, 2020
As you might see, Gilgeous-Alexander is a bit smaller than O’Neal. Eight inches shorter and more than 100 pounds lighter, to be more specific.
The 23-17 Thunder didn’t acquire Gilgeous-Alexander for his rebounding, but it’s definitely a welcome bonus as the 21-year-old makes a big step forward. Playing alongside veteran Chris Paul, Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 19.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game with a 55.9 true shooting percentage.
As the Thunder reap the rewards of trading away George and Russell Westbrook over the next decade, a point guard like that is a pretty good player to have for the future.
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