Patrick Beverley has been in the NBA for quite some time, resulting in him seeing quite a lot of basketball throughout his career. And while his debut season with the Los Angeles Lakers hasn't gotten off to a great start, the same cannot be said for one of his former teammates in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Beverley opens up on his time with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
It's tough to remember now, given how synonymous Gilgeous-Alexander has become with the Oklahoma City Thunder's rebuild, but SGA was initially part of the Los Angeles Clippers organization before he was involved in the trade that sent Paul George to the Clippers. Gilgeous-Alexander was only with Los Angeles for one season, but he greatly impacted Beverley during his time there.
During their time together, Beverley took on a mentorship role for Gilgeous-Alexander and marveled at how far he has come recently with the Thunder. Beverley always knew that Gilgeous-Alexander's laser focus on the game of basketball would help him become a star, and he even relayed how SGA was upset he was traded off the Clippers because he believed that he and George could have led Los Angeles to a title had the Clippers held onto him.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is making good on his bold claim
As Beverley mentions, that was certainly a bold take from Gilgeous-Alexander, but it's been tough to argue with it based on how good SGA is playing with the Thunder. Gilgeous-Alexander has been playing at a near-MVP level (31.1 PPG, 6.3 APG, 4.8 RPG, 51.9 FG%, 38 3P%) and has kept the Thunder relevant through the early portion of the NBA season.
Gilgeous-Alexander is outproducing pretty much everyone in the league right now, including the guy he was traded for in George. The leap SGA has taken this season shocked fans across the league, but Beverley isn't surprised. Beverley believed that his former protege would become one of the best players in the league, and sure enough, he was right.
For the time being, it hasn't led to a lot of wins for the Thunder, as they are only 7-11 so far, but it's clear that as Gilgeous-Alexander continues to improve, Oklahoma City's rebuild will only come close to being completed. The Clippers may have real title aspirations this season, but as SGA continues to improve, it's looking more and more likely they will regret trading him in future seasons.