Despite ESPN's attempts to tell us otherwise, the NBA has never been a point guard dominated league either now or in the past. Yes it is easier to draft point guards than any other position, because they develop quicker than most other positions. So usually the first couple of years after a draft it is the midgets who usually shine, however fast forward to year 4 or five their bigger bros usually end up catching up and passing them.
Either way you put it, if your best player is your point guard then you are not in a good position long term. Consider this, the last NBA team that won a title with a point guard that finished in the top 5 in assists was in 1988 When Magic Johnson averaged 11.9 assists a game finishing 2nd to John Stockton. The last time a team won a title with their point guard their leading scorer was in 1990 when the Pistons won the title behind Isiah Thomas' 18.5 points per game. Isiah's 1990 Piston team was also the last time a team won an NBA title with a point guard that averaged over 9 assists per game.
If your goal is to win a title then your money is probably better spent elsewhere than point guard. Which brings me specifically to Paul. Chris Paul is a small point guard, listed at 6'1 and 175 lbs. Paul also turns 27 in 2012, which given his size and the track record of similar size guards suggest that he is a huge risk. Take the aforementioned Isiah Thomas, he was a similar sized player to Paul and his production fell off pretty sharply after age 28. Likewise Stephon Marbury, whose numbers were actually better than Paul's at this stage of his career, likewise fell off a cliff in terms of his performance once the calender hit 28. Even John Stockton who is often praised for his longevity saw his numbers peak at 28 and fall off every year from there. Some might want to throw Steve Nash into this mix, while it is true Nash played his best ball after 30, Nash does not fit here because he is 6'3 and at 200 Lbs a full 25lbs heavier than Paul and that matters.
Why do small guards like Paul seem to hit a wall around age 28 with few exceptions. The answer is size matters in the NBA, especially for players who make a living driving to the basket. All of those collisions in the paint with bigger bodies take their toll on smaller guards. That may be one of the reasons that Stockton while he did see his numbers start to fall off after age 28 was able to age a little more gracefully than some of his brethren. Stockton played a lot on the perimeter and limited his forays into harm's way to a minimum.
In Paul's case the decline may actually already started. Paul averaged the fewest points per game in his career 15.9 and his third lowest assist total 9.8. He also saw a significant decline in his efg%. Now while Paul's numbers are still very good for a point guard, they are not worth 5 years and 100 Mil territory. Consider that Paul's numbers last season are virtually identical to Raymond Felton's, now I ask you folks, how many of you would give Raymond Felton a max contract or trade half a team for him. Felton in fact may be a better free agent buy over the long haul because while he and Paul are the same height Felton outweighs Paul by 30lbs which allows him to better hold up under the pounding that guards take when they get into the paint.
Paul is not worth it in terms of winning a title, nor is he worth the risk of a long term max contract. The Knicks drafted Iman Shumpert who is a 6'6 220Lbs combo guard that the Knicks plan to use at the point. If Shumpert shows some promise as a rookie, a more prudent point guard plan may be to re-sign Billups if that can be done fairly cheaply, to mentor Shumpert for another season before turning the reigns over tow him in 2013. Billups as a bigger Guard 6'3 215lbs has maintained pretty consistent production from age 28 until now. In fact eerily enough Chauncey's numbers for this season are virtually identical to his numbers in 2004 when as a 27 year old point guard he led Detroit to the NBA title. I laugh when you guys call him old and slow, because when he was young he was young and slow!
Anyway, the track record of similar sized and talented players suggest that Chris Paul may be an overpriced and risky proposition at this stage of his career. Paul at best is worth Raymond Felton money if you judge him based on future prospects than past production.