The NBA is a league of measurements. While it’s difficult to predict who will succeed and who will fail, there are certain markers scouts can use in order to determine an athlete’s ceiling. Height and weight have long been the standard for that, but wingspan is important as well.
Chris Paul’s wingspan is 6’4 (193 cm), which is 4 inches longer than his height of 6’0 (183 cm).
This article takes an in-depth look at Chris Paul’s wingspan. Not only will that give insight into how it’s helped him develop into a star, but it will show why a long reach is critical and how it can compensate for other factors of the game.
The Benefits of a Good Wingspan
Chris Paul is one of the best point guards to ever pick up a basketball. He’s shifty, versatile, incredibly quick, and has led many, many teams to the playoffs. However, he also happens to be only six feet tall. That makes him quite short compared to the rest of the league.
While Chris Paul’s height would have been right around the NBA average a decade or two ago, everyone else grew around him. Currently, point guards stand roughly 6’3. That’s a good amount taller than Paul, especially when considering aspects like weight and size.
Even so, he’s never been outmatched. In fact, he’s managed to excel. While players have always been able to shoot over him or back him down, Paul has done a great job of adapting. That’s largely due in part to his long reach.
Despite his modest height, Paul’s wingspan measures an impressive 6’4. Many NBA players have reaches that are longer than themselves, but that’s much more common with big men like centers and power forwards than it is with point or shooting guards.
Having arms that measure four inches longer than your height is critical for several reasons. First, it enables a player to dribble and pass much more efficiently. That’s because a longer reach gives them more space to work.
Longer arms allow Paul to move the ball around much more easily. Rather than only being able to dribble directly in front of him, he can swing out and do more moves on the perimeter or inside the lane.
On top of that, his arms enable him to reach around players to make a key pass. His assists are a big part of his game, and longer arms are a big part of that. In that same vein, being able to shoot from a higher release point prevents blocks and allows Paul to get off more shots.
Lock Down Defense
Paul’s arms help him with defense too. That’s because a few extra inches enables him to deflect passes or go for steals that would otherwise be out of reach. It’s also a big reason why Paul can go up and contest other players who are a few inches taller than him.
Where many guards would simply lose the size battle, he’s able to reach around or in front of the opposing player. That may not seem like a big deal, but in a league as tight as the NBA, every single inch counts.
If Paul is able to get up and block someone, or simply change their shot in mid-air, that can be the difference between defeat and going home with a victory.
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It’s undeniable that Chris Paul has had a successful career. Though his basketball IQ and ability to analyze a court are big reasons why, his wingspan plays a big role as well. It’s not just his reach, but what the intelligent guard is able to do with it.
It’s hard for a shorter player to succeed in the NBA, especially as the league gets bigger and bigger over time. However, Paul continues to thrive. He can thank his dimensions for that.