“The grass is not always greener”
“The grass is not always greener”
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On Tuesday, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard was asked what advice he would give Oklahoma City Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander based on the latest NBA trade rumors floating around.
“The grass isn’t always greener on the other side,” Lillard also responded to questions about his own trade rumors over the past few months. For now, the 11-year veteran stays with Portland.
According to a number of NBA betting sites, the Trail Blazers have the 14th lowest odds to win the championship in 2023. Some sportsbooks show higher odds for the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Damian Lillard on advice for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: “He’s in a situation where he’s playing freely. … He has a group of people who understand that he’s the leader, he’s the guy. … His career is in a great position. …I would say the grass isn’t always greener on the other side…” pic.twitter.com/XQbdn9VhZe
— Grant Afseth (@GrantAfseth) December 20, 2022
“You never know what it’s going to be like or how the next team is going to see you, especially when you’ve had some injuries like him,” added Damian Lillard.
“You just don’t know. Also, I would tell him that a lot of these people who say ‘release him’ and all these things or whatever are not the people who have to live with the consequences when it doesn’t work. You will never have to walk in his shoes.”
Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard believes breakout star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is better off staying with the Thunder
Gilgeous-Alexander should only focus on things he can control. With 28 starts this season, the player is recording career-high numbers in his fifth year. He averages 31.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.0 blocks per game. Also, the guard shoots 50.1% off the ground and 34.5% off the bow.
In addition, Gilgeous-Alexander ranks third in points (877), 19th in assists (163), sixth in steals (47), third in field goals (291), second in 2- Points field goals (262) and sixth place as player efficiency (27.3%). Lillard never left the Trail Blazers, but he still makes a good point.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has already had 5 shots to equalize or take the lead in the last second of the game.
That’s more than anyone has accomplished in a single season in the last 10 years.
AND he’s only 28 games into the season! 🤯 pic.twitter.com/4Rx7gRagSJ
— Basketball Forever (@bballforever_) December 21, 2022
Not to mention, the Thunder Guard leads the NBA in free throw percentage (93.3%) and free throws (266). On November 16, in Oklahoma City’s 121-120 win over the Washington Wizards, the 24-year-old matched his career high with 42 points. Imagine SGA on a team like the Trail Blazers with Lillard. It could happen in years.
Last August, the Kentucky product signed a five-year, $173 million contract extension with Oklahoma City. With Gilgeous-Alexander also the betting favorite to win this season’s NBA Most Improved Player of the Year, it would be a foolish move for Thunder GM Sam Presti to trade him.
If Chet Holmgren returns healthy next year, the 2023-24 season will show whether trading SGA makes sense or not. Oklahoma City has the perfect opportunity to build something special around Holmgren and Gilgeous-Alexander. Trading away a breakout player would spoil it.