The Phoenix Suns found a diamond in the rough with 11x all-star Chris Paul. Many people have doubted Paul’s credibility to lead a team as young as the Phoenix Suns, but I would beg to differ. Paul is definitely going on the NBA’s Hall of Fame list, and I can say that without a doubt. However, how far can he take his team in the playoffs?
It’s all about winning the games that matter in this league. You work hard all season, and your reward is to play in the playoffs to contend for a championship! Paul is heading towards the end of his career now, and it would be a shame if he retired without ever winning a championship ring.
The last couple of years have been hard for CP3. Some may say he hasn’t been the same Chris Paul since the LA Clippers, but I would like to debate those rumors and prove that he’s still one of the best point guards in the league. If you compare his stats between his previous teams, Paul has – for the most part – remained very consistent, averaging about 17-18 ppg while shooting in the high 40 percentile range.
|Chris Paul||PPG||APG||Shooting %|
|Phoenix Suns||16||8.8||48.6||20-21 stats|
|Oklahoma City Thunder (1 season)||17.6||6.7||48.9||19-20 stats|
|Houston Rockets (2 seasons)||17.1||8||44||17-19 stats|
|LA Clippers (6 seasons)||18.8||9.8||47.5||11-17 stats|
|New Orleans Hornets (6 seasons)||18.7||10||46.9||05-11 stats|
From the chart above, it would seem as if Paul’s career was on the decline, but I would disagree. Yes, Paul is getting older, but I don’t think that’s what is affecting Paul’s ability to produce on the court.
Paul is going through what many players before him have faced, and that is something I like to call the “Vet Hopping.” This is the point in a player’s career where they part ways with their original team and then bounce around from team to team for a bit, trying to find a suitable home for the end of their career.
In the end, it usually leaves the vet playing on teams they think will help them win a title, but this isn’t always the case for players.
Shaquille O’Neal, one of the greatest big men to ever play the game, went through this exact complex. After his experiences in Los Angeles and Miami, it seemed as if Shaq couldn’t find the right team with which he would finish his career. My theory is that Paul is experiencing the same situation. I believe Paul has found a great fit in Phoenix; he has a great group of young guys that are hungry to learn more and have the opportunity to compete for an NBA championship.
Aside from his numbers, how great of a teammate is Paul to the other players on the team? I know a person doesn’t have to be liked to get the job done, but I wanted to know if he was getting along with the other players and staff members in the Phoenix Suns organization. Around the NBA, Paul is definitely known as an ultimate competitor.
For a guard that is 6’0 and 175 lbs, Paul plays like he is the tallest person on the court. No wonder he’s been apart of the All-Defensive Team 9 times. That takes nothing but heart and effort!
With qualities like these, Paul can be known as somewhat unlikeable because he will do whatever it takes to win. He isn’t accepting anything less than greatness from the people around him.
When talking about Paul’s former teammates, Kenny Glenn, a reporter from Phoenix, Arizona that has been a part of professional basketball for 17 years, said,
“Former teammates like Kenyon Martin, Glen “Big Baby” Davis, and others went on record in calling Paul out as a bad teammate. DeAndre Jordan the other half of ‘Lob City’ even pushed the eject button by verbally agreeing to a deal with the Dallas Mavericks in 2015 with Paul being cited as part of the reason why, but ultimately Jordan spurned the Mavericks and return the Clippers.”
Then we have other reviews on Paul coming from Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, stating,
“He was a great help to me in my second year, I got a brother for life … I’m thankful for being his teammate. He’s taught me so many things that I’ll definitely take forward the rest of my career.”
Whether Chris Paul is still able to produce or if he’s a good teammate is still to be determined, but we know with the right team; he can do amazing things with them. He’s not done yet in this league. He definitely can make an impact on a team as long as the compatible is there. He’s still one of the smartest players on the court; he has great court vision and IQ for his passes, which is why he is #6 on the list for all-time assist leaders in the league. I believe Phoenix can be the spot for Paul. With his leadership and skills, he can still produce and rack up his assists with his co-all-star Devin Booker.