Chris Paul wants to play for a contender. He has been unable to find one to trade for him for a variety of reasons. He is too old. He is too expensive. Point guards, in general, are plentiful. But on Monday, Paul reminded the NBA that he's no mere point guard. He is still one of the best players in all of basketball, and he proved it by leading a 26-point comeback, matching the largest deficit overcome in Thunder history, almost entirely by himself against the Chicago Bulls.
Paul scored 19 of Oklahoma City's 27 points in the fourth quarter. When you factor in an assist, the Thunder scored only five points that Paul didn't either earn himself or create with by facilitating the offense. He made his first five 3-point attempts of the final stanza. He even managed to call a game-saving timeout while sliding onto the ground with only 4.3 seconds remaining.
Paul did just about everything for the Thunder on Monday, and it was an important reminder to the rest of the league of what he is still capable of. Paul might not be the best point guard in the NBA every single night anymore, but on any given night, he is still capable of playing at that level when his team needs it. No team that needs point guard help is going to find someone with a higher ceiling than that.
And if no team takes Oklahoma City up on an offer for Paul? The Thunder might just ride him into the postseason. At 12-14, they currently hold the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. A lot can change between now and April, but there is no longer any question about Paul. He remains an All-Star-caliber player, and whether he finishes the season in Oklahoma City or somewhere else, he is going to be heard from this spring.