Despite turning 37 during the playoffs, Phoenix Suns’ veteran point-guard Chris Paul enjoyed another impressive campaign in 2021-22. Paul led the league in assists at 10.8 per game, while also being named an All-Star for the 12th time.
He was also named to the All-NBA third team which, by virtue, should put him in the equation for the top 15 players in the league. However, after being in that discussion ahead of last season, Paul has taken a dip according to ESPN’s top 100 player rankings.
Phoenix Suns veteran point-guard Chris Paul has dropped to 21st in ESPN’s top 100 player rankings, having been 13th at the corresponding stage heading into last season.
Paul’s disappointing end to the playoffs has undoubtedly left a major question mark on his career as he prepares for an 18th NBA season. While his drop to 21 may be a reasonable evaluation anyway, it could also be a slight forecast to a small decline this season.
“Did the Mavericks series signal the end of Paul’s dominant days? The “Point God” was diminished against Dallas, averaging just 8.8 points, 6.3 assists, 2.8 turnovers and 4.0 fouls in Games 4 through 7, as the Suns’ playoff run ended in the second round. At 37 and entering his 18th season, the clock is running against him”, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin wrote.
Of similar guard types ranked above him, there are a couple who Paul may argue against. Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal was two places above in last year’s rankings, and remains the same in this one as both players fell eight positions.
But while Paul still had an incredibly productive and successful regular season, Beal missed over half the season for a Wizards team that finished 12th in the standings.
The other contentious call could be Trae Young, with the young guard scraping his team to the playoffs before a first round exit. The 24-year-old was ranked 17th 12 months ago and makes a one spot jump to 16th in these rankings.
In good news for Suns fans, Devin Booker’s omission from the list thus far has guaranteed him a spot in the top 11, with those rankings to be released intermittently over the next couple of days.