Russell Westbrook vs. Chris Paul: Who has had the better NBA career?

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Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul have historic NBA careers, but is one better than the other?

Both were drafted fourth overall: Paul in 2005, Westbrook in 2008.

Both have reached the NBA Finals and both have fallen short of a championship title.

Also, both are currently with their fifth team.

On “Undisputed,” Skip Bayless explained why he believes Paul, a 12-time NBA All-Star, has the superior career of the two.

“I think Chris has had the best overall basketball career because I think he’s a better basketball player than Russell Westbrook,” Bayless said. “Chris can orchestrate at the highest level. He can be a maestro. . . . In the end, nine All-Defense and six steals (leading) over for me, give [the] plus for Chris.

“His whole career, he [has] he averaged just 2.4 turnovers per game. Most people don’t care about that, but I do. … Russ has averaged 4.1 turnovers per game. … Trust me, that’s a big difference. … Russ is a terrible 3-point shooter. he [has] he became a terrible free throw shooter, and Chris is a much more reliable shooter and ultimately scorer than Russ.”

A member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team, Paul is third all-time in career assists with 11,501 assists and one of only seven players all-time with over 10,000 assists. He is also one of four players all-time with over 17,000 points, over 10,000 assists and over 5,000 rebounds, joining LeBron James, Magic Johnson and Jason Kidd. In December 2016, Paul became the only player in NBA history to record a game with at least 20.0 points and 20.0 assists without a single turnover.

On the defensive end, he is the only player in league history to lead the league in steals per game in four consecutive seasons and holds the NBA record for most consecutive games with a steal (108). Paul has led the league in steals per game six times, more than any other player in NBA history.

Paul has led the league in assists five times, been named to an All-Defensive team nine times and has been voted an All-Star 12 times.

Paul, 37, has averaged 17.9 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game in 18 regular seasons, three more seasons than Westbrook’s 15. Paul (14) also has three more playoff appearances than Westbrook (11).

Shannon Sharpe wasn’t on the same page, though, and shared exactly why he thinks the newly minted NBA All-Star Westbrook has the edge over Paul.

“Because I think Russ has outlived his career … I think he’s Russ,” Sharpe said of the LA Clippers star. “I do not think so [Westbrook] he was expected to become what he became. If you watch Russ in college, there’s no way you’d project that he would be this one. I think Chris Paul had a higher expectation.”

A member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team and former NBA MVP, Westbrook is the league’s all-time leader in triple-doubles (198) and holds the record for most triple-doubles in a single game season with 42, made in the 2016-17 season.

He is one of three players all-time with more than 20,000 career points, more than 9,000 assists and more than 7,000 rebounds in his career, joining James and Oscar Robertson. He is also one of three players with over 25.0 points, over 15.0 assists and over 10.0 rebounds in a playoff game, joining Paul and Robertson.

Westbrook is the only player in NBA history to have a 50-point triple-double in a playoff game and to record three consecutive 30-point triple-doubles in a playoff series. In addition, he is also the only player to win both the leading scorer and MVP awards while averaging a triple-double in the same season.

He is a two-time leader, three-time assist leader and two-time All-Star Game MVP to name a few. He is also an Olympic gold medalist, winning for the United States at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Westbrook, 34, has averaged 22.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game in 15 regular seasons. He is shooting 43.8% from the field and 30.5% from 3 for his career in the regular season.

“Personally, I don’t think either of them would trade their career for the other,” Sharpe added.

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