Thunder PG Shai Gilgeous-Alexander breaks rebounding triple-double mark held by Shaq

Jack Baer

In a package featuring a truckload of draft capital and one of the Los Angeles Clippers’ leading scorers in Danilo Gallinari, young point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexender was the crown jewel that powered the trade that sent Paul George to Los Angeles.

Gilgeous-Alexander has more than showed he was worth the move this season. He continued that ascent Monday with a triple-double never before seen by a player his age.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: Rebound machine

Facing a Minnesota Timberwolves team missing star center Karl-Anthony Towns, Gilgeous-Alexander cleaned up the glass on the way to his first career triple-double with 20 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists on 8-of-12 shooting.

That performance made Gilgeous-Alexander the youngest player to ever post a 20-rebound triple-double, breaking a 26-year-old record held by Shaquille O’Neal.

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As you might see, Gilgeous-Alexander is a bit smaller than O’Neal. Eight inches shorter and more than 100 pounds lighter, to be more specific.

The 23-17 Thunder didn’t acquire Gilgeous-Alexander for his rebounding, but it’s definitely a welcome bonus as the 21-year-old makes a big step forward. Playing alongside veteran Chris Paul, Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 19.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game with a 55.9 true shooting percentage.

As the Thunder reap the rewards of trading away George and Russell Westbrook over the next decade, a point guard like that is a pretty good player to have for the future.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 07:  Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in action against Garrett Temple #17 of the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on January 07, 2020 in New York City. Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 111-103. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander doesn't exactly look like a rebounding record-setter. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

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