Chris Paul recently passed Steve Nash for third on the all-time NBA assists list. Now the question is, how much higher can he get?
As of this writing, Paul currently has 10,346 career assists. In order for him to get second on the all-time list, he’d have to pass Jason Kidd, who dished out 12,091 assists throughout his Hall-of-Fame career.
“I’m grateful and I thank God for this opportunity,” Paul said. “I say it all the time, not only to be on a team and still be in the league but to still be playing. You don’t take that for granted.”
Is it Realistic for CP3 to pass Kidd?
Right now, CP3 is averaging a career-high 11.8 assists per game through six games. The most assists Paul has ever had in an entire season is 925.
However, in recent years, Paul has fallen well short of that number, as he only had 622 of them in 70 games last season. It’s worth noting that his assist per game average was 8.9, which is significantly lower than what he’s producing at this point in time.
If Paul keeps up this average for the duration of the season and plays all 82 games, he would finish the year around 965 assists. If he finishes with 965 exactly, that would put him at 11,240 career assists, which would only be 851 assists away from Kidd.
However, you can’t expect Paul to be healthy and available for all 82 games this season at this point of his career, but say he matches the amount he’s played in the last two seasons, which is 70, that’d still give him a solid 826 assists on the year.
What also needs to be factored in is that is it sustainable for Paul to average nearly 12 assists on a nightly basis, or should we expect a dropoff closer to 8.9 he averaged last season?
Let’s say he averages nine on the dot, he could finish anywhere between 630 and 738 if he plays at least 70 games. If he gets to 630, that would put him at 10,905 career assists.
Now let’s factor in that Paul is signed under contract with the Phoenix Suns for the next four seasons.
Assuming he doesn’t retire between now and then and he reaches the 630 minimum for at least the next two seasons, that would give him 11,535 career assists.
After that, all he’d need is 557 assists to pass Kidd, which he could probably accomplish if he only played in half of the games over those next two seasons.
When you take all of these numbers into consideration, it seems favorable that he can pass Kidd. However, Paul will be 37 next May, so the question will become, can his body hold up and allow him to play as many games and be as effective as he starts to push 40?
Time will tell, but the opportunity is there for Paul to pass Kidd, especially when you consider that he still looks good out there.
CP3 Had a Vision Entering the League
Although it’s possible CP3 ends up being second in all-time assists when it’s all said and done, he had a vision to pass John Stockton, who has 15,806 career assists, for first on the all-time list.
“I looked at that list when I first came into the league and seeing that John Stockton and I was like, ‘I’m going to get it.’ But that ship sailed. That ship sailed. It sailed a while ago when I started missing all them games,” Paul said. “But to be third and still be playing, I’m grateful for it and I still got a ways to go.”
Although Paul didn’t reach his ultimate goal, he would’ve never gotten as high as he currently is on the all-time assists list had he never had that vision.