Hawks GM looks to draft player he 'can develop'

Updated: June 20, 2005, 8:30 PM ET
Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Former Wake Forest point guard Chris Paul showed off his 3-point shooting Monday for Hawks general manager Billy Knight at the team's predraft workout.

Knight has not said if the Hawks will use their overall No. 2 pick on a point guard or big man in the June 28 NBA draft. Utah center Andrew Bogut is working out with the team Friday.

Paul worked out with former Kansas guard Aaron Miles, who leads the Big 12 Conference in career assists. Miles is the NCAA's eighth all-time assist leader.

The Hawks finished the 2004-05 season 13-69, the worst record in the league.

"You have figure out the different players and you have to show them you're willing to work hard and lead," Paul said.

Paul also worked out with the Charlotte Bobcats, who have the fifth pick. Paul said he would be happy playing for the Hawks or Bobcats, adding he enjoys Atlanta's fast-paced style. He said either team would allow him to remain close to his family in Winston-Salem, N.C.

"I like Atlanta because it's not too close and it's not too far away. It's a big city," said Paul, who also has relatives in Atlanta.

Knight spent time with Paul outside the workout and said he was mature.

"The workout part of things is for the coaches' and staff's benefit," Knight said.

Paul was suspended from Wake's ACC tournament quarterfinal loss when he punched North Carolina State player Julius Hodge in the groin in the Demon Deacons' regular-season finale.

"You take the player you can develop," Knight said. "The NBA is becoming more of a developmental league." The Hawks took forward Josh Smith in the first round of the 2004 draft. Smith came to the NBA straight from high school.

Paul, the Atlantic Coast Conference rookie of the year, was a first-team All-American in 2005. In 63 games at Wake Forest, he led the team to 48 wins, including a school-record 27 victories last season. Paul averaged 15.3 points and 6.3 assists.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press