Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had quite the breakout season in 2022-23, and so did his team. The Oklahoma City Thunder have not made the playoffs since the 2019-20 season, but they are still far ahead of schedule with their rebuild.
With an average age of 23.14 years, the Thunder were the youngest team in the league last season. Nevertheless, they were much more competitive than expected and even won their first play-in game against the New Orleans Pelicans.
At the head of the snake was Gilgeous-Alexander, who finished fourth in the league in scoring, made his first All-Star game, and was named to the First Team All-NBA alongside established stars in Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Jayson Tatum, and Luka Doncic. He received votes for Most Improved Player and the Clutch Player award but most significantly finished 5th in MVP voting. This put him behind Embiid, Nicola Jokic, Antetokounmpo, and Tatum with six fourth-place votes and 28 fifth-place votes.
While this is a great milestone for the 25-year-old, he has the potential to climb that ladder sooner rather than later and leave the fifth place behind. So, let’s look at three steps for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to truly enter the MVP race next season.