How many young guards would you take over Shai Gilgeous-Alexander?
The question has been on my mind today for a few different reasons. One, we all just witnessed SGA outduel the young All Star duo of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray. Two, we are all about to witness SGA take on Ja Morant in Memphis tonight. Three, I was listening to The Bill Simmons Podcast (it’s safe, he ironically likes OKC now that they’re rebuilding) in which he and Ryen Russillo posed this question about Trae. Let’s have some fun and do the same exercise with Shai.
1. The guards have to be under 30 years old.
2. You’re building your team around them for the next seven years.
3. Luka Doncic doesn’t count.
Before we get to Shai, let’s check out Simmons and Russillo’s results with Trae. Both of The Ringer guys said they’d take Devin Booker, Ja Morant, Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Haliburton, Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland over the former Sooners legend. Not sure I agree with those final four, but fair enough. Here’s where it gets a little nutty. Both said they’d go with Desmond Bane over Young… and that Anfernee Simons was at least an argument.
And both of them chose Shai over Trae.
Which brings us to our Shai vs the world assignment. Let’s start off with some softballs just to get warmed up and then progressively make the choices tougher.
SGA or Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Jaden Ivey, Bennedict Mathurin. Despite the unsubstantiated rumor of OKC trying to trade SGA + the #6 pick for the chance to draft Cade, in no world are you taking even the most promising of the sophomore and rookie guards over Shai. Winner: SGA
SGA or LaMelo Ball, Fred VanVleet, Jalen Brunson. This group is the “obviously I’m choosing Shai, but hey it’s just an honor to be nominated” category. Winner: SGA