Chris Paul wanted to get drafted by the Atlanta Hawks
Chris Paul was drafted in 2005 by the New Orleans Pelicans (then the Hornets), but had a strong desire to play for the Atlanta Hawks instead. It’s a pick the Hawks might want to re-do if they had the chance to.
Paul, coming out of Wake Forest, was a top prospect and heavily sought after by a number of programs. Ultimately, the Hawks ended up selecting second, electing to pass on CP3, selecting Marvin Williams instead.
Paul would get selected a few picks later at fourth overall and start off his high-level professional career in the Big Easy, but not before Paul tried to pull some strings to find his way to Atlanta.
Speaking to Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson on the Knuckleheads podcast, Chris Paul detailed his workout pre-draft and how he tried to pull some strings to get him closer to his hometown.
Chris Paul details trying to get drafted by the Atlanta Hawks
Before Chris Paul worked out for New Orleans, he had a stellar workout with the Atlanta Hawks.
“I told [New Orleans] I wasn’t coming to work out for them… Real talk, I said I’m not coming to work out. Because I worked out for Atlanta before that and killed that workout… [Atlanta] had the No. 2 pick. And so that was closer to home, but not at home, right?”
Atlanta’s location central to the south and Paul’s home state of North Carolina was of interest to the young guard. Wanting to go out on a high note and establish his position as a high pick in the draft, he wanted to avoid working out for any other teams.
Paul admitted, too, that he wasn’t that familiar with New Orleans, and their poor record from the year before was troubling.
He went on to detail the conversation with his agent about not wanting to work out for the Hornets, and the fact that the team was determined to draft him whether or not he came for a workout.
“And so after I worked out for Atlanta, I got back to the hotel, my agent called me and was like, ‘uh, New Orleans wants you to come work out tomorrow.’ And I was like, nah, I ain’t goin’. My agent said, ‘they said if you don’t come, they’re going to pick you anyway.’”
Ultimately, Paul would go to the workout reluctantly and get drafted by New Orleans, spending the first six years of his career there. He even got a free TGI Friday’s lunch out of it.
The Hawks have their guard of the future in Trae Young now, but it’s interesting to think about where the team would have been over the last decade had they nabbed Chris Paul. It’s safe to say the butterfly effect would have been intense.