Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul has made history with four different NBA teams, which serves as a timely reminder as the No. 1 Suns enter playoffs.
The NBA’s WAR (wins above replacement) metric offers a statistical quantification of how much one player influences a team’s record. According to FiveThirtyEight’s RAPTOR WAR calculations, Denver Nuggets center and MVP frontrunner Nikola Jokic is miles ahead of other NBA players with a WAR number of 21.8. The next closest would be Boston Celtics small forward Jayson Tatum at 12.6.
It may be surprising, then, to learn that Chris Paul’s WAR is hardly an outlier. Paul has a WAR of 6.4, which might be surprising considering his contributions to the Suns over the past two seasons.
It’s no coincidence that Paul’s first season was the first time the Suns saw the Western Conference Finals since 2010 and the first time the team made the NBA Finals since 1993.
Even if his WAR metric doesn’t stand out on the Suns roster, this statistic proves that CP3 has been the most valuable player throughout his entire career: Paul has set a team’s franchise record for wins four different times in his career.
The fact that proves that Chris Paul is the NBA’s Most Valuable Player
A Reddit user on r/nba made the distinction, listing the seasons and records that allow Chris Paul to exist in a different tier when it comes to contributing to team success.
In 2008, the New Orleans Hornets went 56-26. In 2014, the Los Angeles Clippers went 57-25. In 2018, the Houston Rockets went 65-17. And in 2022, the Suns have already won 63 games, which is the most in franchise history.
That might not seem impressive for a younger franchise like the Hornets, which was created in 1988, but the Clippers, Rockets and Suns all date back more than 50 years.
Despite this, the 36-year-old point guard has never won an NBA Championship, and 2021 marked his first NBA Finals appearance. History may have been different if the NBA didn’t veto a Hornets trade sending Paul to the Lakers, but for now, Paul will forever be revered for helping each of these teams achieve unprecedented success.