Deron Williams or Chris Paul?

Hugh JassCorrespondent IJune 29, 2008

In the 2005 NBA draft, the Utah Jazz selected Deron Williams with the No. 3 overall pick.  One selection later, the New Orleans Hornets drafted Chris Paul with the No. 4 overall pick.  Both players have had stellar careers thus far in the NBA.  Because of the link in the 2005 draft, these two players will be compared throughout the rest of their careers.  

Up until this point, both players have played exceptionally well in the NBA and either competitor is an excellent player to build a franchise around.  If it were me though, I would choose Deron Williams as my point guard any day of the week.  

While the stats might suggest that Paul is a better point guard than Williams, I have to disagree.  Here’s why:


Deron Williams dominates Chris Paul head-to-head.

In the four games that the Jazz met the Hornets last season, Deron Williams led the Jazz to a 3-1 record.  In the eight games that the two teams have met up since acquiring Williams and Paul, the Jazz have won seven of eight.  

On February 4, the Jazz defeated the Hornets 110-88.  While Deron Williams had a dominating 29 points and 11 assists on 11-13 shooting, Chris Paul mustered six points, six assists, and five turnovers on 3-11 shooting.  

On February 16, Deron Williams won the PlayStation Skills Challenge in the 2008 NBA All-Star weekend.  Once advancing into the final round, Williams faced his perennial rival Chris Paul.  In the final round, Williams defeated Paul, while nearly setting the all-time record with 25.5 seconds.  Chris Paul managed a fairly strong final-round with 31.2 seconds.


Deron Williams has had the greater impact on his team in the NBA.

Deron Williams has led the Jazz to two playoff runs in his three-year career, including a run to the conference championship in 2006-07.

Chris Paul has led his team to the second round in the playoffs in only one year of his three-year career.  

You might say that the Jazz have had a better team.  Well, three years ago, the Jazz ended up with a 26-56 record compared to the Hornets 18-64 record.  Three years ago both teams were two of the worst teams in the NBA.  It isn’t a stretch to say that both teams were equally as bad.  

Despite all of the injuries that have plagued the Jazz the past three seasons, Deron Williams has led the Jazz to a 41-41, 51-31, and 54-28 season, respectively.  Paul has led his team to a 38-44, 39-43, and 56-26 season, respectively.  Obviously, Williams has had the greater impact on the team.


The two superstars have nearly identical stats.  

While Chris Paul has averaged slightly more points than Williams, Williams has shot the basketball slightly better than Paul.  The rest of the stats are nearly identical.  

Paul averages 21.1 PPG compared to Williams’ 18.8 PPG.  Williams shoots field goals at 50.7 percent, compared to Paul’s 48.8 percent.  Williams shoots threes at 39.5 percent, compared to Paul’s 36.9 percent.  Paul averaged 11.6 APG, while Williams averaged 10.5 APG.  

The bottom line is that these players are relatively equal.  Paul scores slightly more points and averages slightly more assists, while Williams shoots slightly better from the field and three-point line.  

No longer can Chris Paul be called the better player.  The two have nearly identical stats.  Each player went to the playoffs last season.  Each player led their team to a winning season; each team with 50+ wins.  

Chris Paul and Deron Williams will be the top point guards in the NBA for the next decade.  Each will be successful.  It just depends on whom you prefer.  In my opinion, I would choose Deron Williams to lead my team to an NBA championship.