Adam Caparell, Complex.com (4/22/19)
“Before he even stepped into training camp I watched film of him with my best friends,” Clippers guard Patrick Beverly said after Game 4. “This kid is going to be special. You see the grind throughout the year and he embraces it. He loves the grind. Whether it’s up or down, coaches, they on him like they’re supposed to be. He never folds.”
Getting an endorsement like that from one of the NBA’s all time grinders is great, but the Canadian showed NBA observers plenty of glimpses of future greatness throughout a quietly impressive campaign. Only scratching the surface of how complete a player he can be, SGA probably exceeded outside expectations of how impactful he would be in his first year, even though Clippers coach Doc Rivers thought the kid had star written all over him before the season started. Gifted offensively, with incredible length, he came into the league with a rep of being an incredibly hard worker and finished ninth in rookie scoring, playing in all 82 games, 73 of which he started.
There are plenty of reasons why the Clippers will be among the most attractive destinations for high-level free agents. Los Angeles, as a city and place to live, sells itself. Rivers is widely revered. The organization has invested in every level of player development. They're hoping to open their own arena in a handful of years. And the Clippers are the exact opposite of the dysfunctional Lakers right now and don't have a 35-year-old superstar in LeBron James who will always be catered to first and foremost. Make sure you have the young and talented roster, with Gilgeous-Alexander high at the top of that list, as another big reason why free agents will be crushing on the Clippers come July. Because who wouldn't want to partner with the best young point guard in LA on the verge of blowing up?
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Is a Big Reason Why Free Agents Will Be Crushing on the Clippers