OKC Thunder: Why Chris Paul’s 40th rank on ESPN list is too low

Chris Paul #3 of the OKC Thunder dribbles the ball. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Chris Paul #3 of the OKC Thunder dribbles the ball. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
OKC Thunder’s Chris Paul #3 strips the ball from Gary Harris #14 of the Denver Nuggets (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

ESPN ranks OKC Thunder star Chris Paul 40th on their top 74 players list. Five point guards rank ahead, but CP3 could move past them all before he retires.

With the ESPN release of the top 74 NBA players, there was bound to be some debate over placement. Three former OKC Thunder players made the list and one current player – Chris Paul.

As we correctly presumed ESPN wasn’t going to waste the opportunity to keep fans waiting with bated breath for the top 10 players of all-time (they published that ranking this morning). The initial installment cited the 74th through 41st ranked players of all-time by a group of experts. Former OKC Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook made that list as the 42nd ranked player.

The second installment offers up the 40th through 11th ranked players. Chris Paul makes the list coming in at 40th. Undoubtedly, his inability to reach the NBA Finals lands him lower on the list.

"Paul will get knocked by some for his failure to lead a team to a championship, but that shouldn’t take away from what he has accomplished on the floor."

Diving into why Chris Paul’s 40th rank is too low:

Examining the list there are other guards who rank higher who also never won a title but claimed Most Valuable Player Awards such as Steve Nash and Allen Iverson.

Two guards ranked ahead of CP3 are Isiah Thomas and Jason Kidd who both won titles and the latter ranks high on the all-time lists.

Another guard who Paul could potentially be ahead of either now or in the near future is John Stockton who takes the 28th position on the list.

Dive a little deeper and you’ll find most of those players can’t compete with Paul’s overall defensive accomplishments.

With that in mind, let’s take a peek at each of these guards statistics, with a view to all-time ranking, awards and titles.

Following that the final page offers perspective on where Paul could finish in each of these areas.