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Thunder signing Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to max contract extension

Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

CLEVELAND, OHIO - FEBRUARY 21: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder brings the ball up court during the third quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on February 21, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

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While Shai Gilgeous-Alexander spent the 2019-20 season playing off the ball next to Chris Paul, then-Thunder coach Billy Donovan said, “Shai is, no question, more than capable of playing point guard and running a team.” Alexander got the opportunity last season and spread his wings.

Now, Oklahoma City is paying him to fly.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

A max deal projects to be worth $173 million over five years -- or $207 million if Gilgeous-Alexander meets the super-max criteria. Either way, the exact amount won’t be determined until next year, when the extension begins.

There had been speculation the Thunder would look to trade Gilgeous-Alexander, because the 23-year-old is already too good for their fledgling rebuild. And they still might. Gilgeous-Alexander still holds tremendous value on this deal.

Oklahoma City just drafted intriguing point forward Josh Giddey with the No. 6 pick. Theo Maledon got All-Rookie votes. Kemba Walker is still on the roster.

The Thunder have a complex situation at point guard.

But make no mistake: Gilgeous-Alexander is the main attraction.