The Oklahoma City Thunder was supposed to enter a rebuilding process this season. In fact, Chris Paul was one of the prime buyout candidates entering the year as we all thought he was going to force his way out to join a contending team.
Fast-forward several months and the Thunder is a legit dark horse out of the Western Conference. And, while Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Billy Donovan deserve a lot of credit for the team's campaign, it's pretty obvious that no one should get as much recognition as Chris Paul.
That's why NBA analyst Rashad Phillips believes Paul should be named MVP this season ahead of the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, or James Harden:
"This year's MVP for me is Chris Paul. A 35-year-old 6’0 PG that has the most IMPACT. Everywhere he plays he resurrects the franchise. He’s resurrected three franchises in his career. Hornets, Clippers, and now OKC. It’s not popular but it’s real. #Yoda," Phillips tweeted.
While Paul's averages of 17.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 6.7 assists, 1.6-three-pointers, and 1.6 steals per game aren't as impressive as the ones the guys leading the race have, Paul's impact has gone way beyond the stat-sheet.
He's played some of the best defense of his career. His leadership made the Thunder a major threat and a team worthy of a lot of respect, and they even have a better record than the Houston Rockets, the team that gave up on him.
He's not going to win the award but if we take the 'Most Valuable Player' concept literally, he may truly be this year's MVP.