Phoenix Suns: Chris Paul, Devin Booker should be considered for MVP

Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul, Devin Booker (Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul, Devin Booker (Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

Can Phoenix Suns fans guess which of these two anonymous Suns players got the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award only judging by the stat lines below?

  • Player A: 25.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists
  • Player B: 15.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 11.5 assists
  • Player C: 16.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 8.8 assists
  • Player D: 26.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.5 assists

Hint: Two-time MVP Steve Nash never averaged more than 20 points per game in any season for the Phoenix Suns (or for any other team).

Phoenix Suns Chris Paul and Devin Booker are overlooked in this year’s NBA MVP discussion!

Without further ado, let’s unveil each MVP candidate for the Phoenix Suns over the past 30 years:

  • Player A: Charles Barkley’s MVP in 1993
  • Player B: Steve Nash’s MVP in 2005

If you wrongly guessed players C and D, then the stats misled you. Player C is short for Chris Paul and Player D is short for Devin Booker, respectively, whose stats for this season are very comparable to Barkley and Nash’s MVP seasons.

So why aren’t Chris Paul and Devin Booker frontrunners for MVP? Like Barkley and Nash, Paul and Booker meet all four of the standards required for most MVP candidates:

  • Being on a contending team
    • Phoenix has the second best record in the NBA this season
  • Having stat lines favorable to past MVP’s
    • Devin Booker’s stat line compares favorably to past MVPs
  • Being very marketable
    • Chris Paul is in every State Farm commercial for good reason
    • Devin Booker has enough star power to date Kendall Jenner
  • Making an on-court impact to match up whatever narrative the media wants
    • Paul and Booker make enough of an on-court impact to back up the hype

So why is nobody considering Paul and Booker as viable MVP candidates for this season? It is not as if the usual candidates are winning the award this year: and have been the main catalyst for the Suns having the second-best record in the NBA this season

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo will not win his third straight MVP due to voter fatigue
  • Most MVP voters will remember how James Harden rage-quit on the Houston Rockets just to force a trade to the Brooklyn Nets
  • Stephen Curry because his Golden State Warriors are barely in the mix for the play-in game
  • Kevin Durant and LeBron James are out of the mix due to injury

Denver’s Nikola Jokic and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid come to mind as the leading candidates for MVP, yet history is working against both big men.

If either of Jokic or Embiid win the MVP, it will mark the first time a traditional center has won the award since Shaquille O’Neal won it back in 2000. If we retrofit yesterday’s power forward to today’s center, Dirk Nowitzki was the last big man to win it back in 2007.

The NBA is a guard’s game nowadays. The way the game is played means elite guards are more impactful (and common) than elite post players, which is yet another argument in favor of Chris Paul and Devin Booker.

Related: Phoenix Suns’ Devin Booker disrespected again

Moreover, the Phoenix Suns already have more wins this season than all of last season, and as of Friday were two games in the loss column behind the Utah Jazz for the best record in the NBA.

Speaking of Utah, why aren’t Donovan Mitchell and Ruby Gobert in the discussion for MVP? They don’t have the same level of star power!

At the end of the day, not only do Chris Paul and Devin Booker check all four of the boxes for MVP (being on a contending team, having strong stats, being marketable, and making an undeniable impact on the court) but they would also be fresh faces in the MVP discussion.

dark. Next. Let's look back at the win over Utah

In the midst of all this chatter, why wouldn’t Chris Paul or Devin Booker be MVP? Please leave a comment to let Valley of the Suns know who should be the NBA’s MVP this season.