For the ninth time in his career, Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul has earned All-NBA honors. Paul was named to the All-NBA second team on Wednesday.
He is joined by Nikola Jokic, Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, and Damian Lillard. Paul played in 70 games for the Thunder this season, averaging 18 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, and 1.59 steals, which was good enough for 9th in the league.
More impressively, he led the NBA in clutch scoring with 150 points and tied for first (with ShaiGilgous-Alexander) in steals with 10. Paul also shot 52 percent from the field in clutch time while shooting 92 percent from the line.
According to the Thunder public relations, since relocating to Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder has had 17 players on the All-NBA team in that period. For Paul, this honor wipes away a lot of the questions about his durability and leadership skills.
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Paul only missed one game this season and not due to injury. He was gone the day after Kobe Bryant and his daughter was tragically killed in a helicopter crash.
Paul was instrumental in getting the NBA back to action after a five and half month layoff. He also led Oklahoma City with a 38-17 record after Thanksgiving and one win away from a spot in the Western Conference Semifinals.
Paul played mentor to young players taking both Gilgeous-Alexander and Darius Bazley under his wing not only to discuss basketball but how both could use their voice to affect change.
He is a hot topic for trade discussions, but Sam Presti doesn't have to move right away. Paul is more valuable now than he was when he came to Oklahoma City; Presti can wait for a deal that not only makes sense for the Thunder but Paul as well.
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With more than 20 years of experience hosting local and national radio shows, Erik Gee is a fixture of Oklahoma sports media. He has covered the Oklahoma City Thunder for the past six seasons. He is also the co-host of the Pat Jones show on 97.1 The Sports Animal in Tulsa.