Chris Paul Draft Capsule
VITALS: 6-0, 175, Wake Forest
OVERVIEW: A consensus All-American in 2005 as a sophomore and the Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year as a freshman, Paul leaves Wake Forest with 948 career points, 395 assists and 160 steals. His career 3-point percentage of 47 percent is the second-highest in Deacons history and his 212 assists this past season were the third most in school history and the most since Muggsy Bogues in 1987. Paul started 62 of 63 games during his two years and helped Wake to 48 wins, including a school-record 27 victories last season.
LIKELY DRAFT POSITION: Paul has a very narrow draft range, owing both to his excellent point guard abilities and the need for a point guard among the teams drafting in the first half of the lottery. It appears now that the first three teams won’t draft Paul, preferring to go with bigger players. His first good chance to be selected comes at No. 4 with New Orleans. If he doesn’t go there, it is likely Charlotte takes him with the fifth overall pick. Utah is sixth and also in the market for a point guard.
COMPARATIVE DOWNSIDE: Jay Williams
ROLE PROJECTION: Immediate starter.
POSITIVES: Paul has a complete package of point guard skills, including the ability to penetrate and set up teammates for shots, shake defenders and get his own shot. He has quick hands and great lateral movement to cause steals and be disruptive playing on-the-ball defense, as well as leadership qualities that enable him to quarterback the team. Paul also has good range on his shot and is deadly out to the college 3-point line.
SHORTCOMINGS: In a word, Paul is short, although not quite as short as first thought. He was listed as 6-0 throughout his college career, but he measured at 6-1 at the NBA’s Pre-Draft Camp in Chicago. He is strong for his size but is going to encounter some difficulties playing against the bigger point guards in the league, who will try to post him up. He also just turned 20, so there will be learning curve and a natural maturation process he will need to go through.