3. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
The Thunder are one of the youngest teams in the NBA. Nevertheless, they are currently in second place in the West, having beaten teams like the Nuggets, the Warriors, the Lakers, and the Mavericks.
They score the fifth-most points per game in the league and have the sixth-best defense. It is unusual for such a young team to do so well on both ends of the court, but the Thunder look like a real force in the West. They are well ahead of schedule on their rebuild, and the main reason for that is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Their starting point guard has been putting up good numbers for a while but exploded last season and took the league by storm. He made his first All-Star game and was selected to the All-NBA First Team, setting the stage for a career filled with accolades.
Not much has changed since then. He is averaging 30.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, 6.4 assists, and 2.7 steals, leading his team in minutes per game, points, assists, and steals. Across the league, he ranks fourth in scoring, fifth in field goal attempts, eighth in free throw attempts, and first in steals.
The Thunder are one of the most fun teams to watch with all their youth, energy, and potential. Chet Holmgren is making a solid case for Rookie of the Year, and he looks like he will be an All-Star soon. For now, Gilgeous-Alexander is the face of the team, however.
His case for an All-Star spot in the West is as good as any, and he might be one of De’Aaron Fox’s fiercest competitors. When the Kings and the Thunder met last, Fox came away with the win, but Gilgeous-Alexander still put on a show, recording 43 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists, and 2 steals.