LOS ANGELES – Eleven years ago, Chris Paul heard his name called as the fourth pick at the 2005 NBA Draft.
One pick later, the team closest to Paul’s hometown selected Raymond Felton, with the North Carolina guard remaining in the state and going to Charlotte.
One round later, Brandon Bass became Paul’s teammate, as New Orleans selected the LSU forward with the 33rd overall pick.
Now, three of the most tenured members of the 2005 NBA Draft class are together on the Clippers.
“Brandon and Raymond, who were part of my draft class, it’s pretty cool to be on the same team as them,” Paul said this week at the Watts-Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club, where he was unveiling a new golf simulator for the children.
The Clippers, despite their cap restraints, managed to re-sign Jamal Crawford, Austin Rivers, Wesley Johnson and Luc Mbah a Moute while bringing in Bass and Felton, as well as Marreese Speights and Alan Anderson, the latter going undrafted in the same 2005 class as Paul, Felton and Bass.
“I’m excited about it,” Paul said about the new additions. “We definitely signed some veterans, some seasoned NBA guys who’ve been through a lot of different situations.”
Having been in the league more than a decade and coming in with Paul and Bass, Felton said after signing with the Clippers he knew this would be a comfortable fit.
“I know most of these guys,” Felton said. “I know CP, I know Jamal (Crawford) – I played with him in Portland. Just understanding and knowing I’m going to be in a comfortable situation, and then on top of that, this is L.A., what can you complain about?”