Suns’ Chris Paul and Devin Booker are among Sports Illustrated’s 20 best players in 2021-22
After an NBA Finals last season, Chris Paul and Devin Booker were named to Sports Illustrated’s Top 20 Top 100 NBA Players for 2021-2022.
Positions 30-11 were revealed on Wednesday with Paul entering at No.18 and Booker jumping at No.16, joining Phoenix Suns teammates Deandre Ayton (No.37), Mikal Bridges (No.53) and Jae Crowder (no. ° 90) on the list.
Chris Paul has dropped four spots from the 2021 standings despite being fifth in the MVP vote a season ago.
SI’s Jeremy Woo noticed the point guard’s spectacular numbers despite his age.
Chris Paul not only revived the Suns and quarterback a final at 36: he also had one of the most effective seasons of his career, posting his best field goal percentage (49.9% ) since 2009, shooting nearly 40% of threes and a league best 93% from the line. He thus avoided any serious physical decline with irrepressible acuity and competitive fire. He certainly does not seem ready to enter an end of career phase any time soon. As young stars including running mate Devin Booker have started to overtake him on our list, Paul’s overall impact can still be just as huge on any given night. He is, after all, one of the best playmakers of all time.
The playmaker averaged 16.4 points per game, 4.5 rebounds and 8.9 assists in 70 regular season games.
Paul sits just ahead of Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving and one spot behind Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young.
Devin Booker jumped eight spots in the standings to move up to 16th, one spot ahead of Young and ranked behind Bradley Beal, Jimmy Butler and Jayson Tatum.
Rohan Nadkarni of SI recognizes Booker as one of the best players in the NBA but also nods to improving defense as a unit during the playoffs.
Booker’s supernova scoring talent finally coincided with his victory in 2021, as he helped lead the Suns to the NBA Finals. Booker is a three-tiered goalscorer who makes up for his slightly less deadly three-point game with killer bucket prowess inside the arc. He’s adept at using his body to create space in the lane before burying you with unbalanced shots. And when his pull-up is working, he can easily reach 40, as he did twice in a row in the final. Individual defense will always be a slight question mark for Booker, although he has proven in the Phoenix run to the championship round that he can absolutely contribute to a great team defensive effort. Book definitely received a high mark on this list due to the team success he finally experienced for the first time in his career. His next challenge will be to prove that the Suns can maintain this level in the future.
Booker averaged 25.6 points per game, 4.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists during the 2021 campaign.
Damian Lillard and Paul George completed the top 11 players with 1-10 at a later date.