Kiki Vandeweghe in 1980 got drafted by the Dallas Mavericks who were an expansion team at the time. He held out into the season and was eventually traded Denver Nuggets.
In the 1983 NFL draft John Elway got drafted by the Baltimore Colts. Then he publicly made it clear he refused to play for them and demanded a trade. In the end he got what he wanted and became a Bronco.
In the 2004 NFL draft Eli Manning and his dad Archie made it clear he did not want to play for the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers drafted him anyway but, was ultimately traded to the New York Giants for Phillip Rivers.
The 1991 NHL draft featured Eric Lindros who refused to play for the Quebec Nordiques. Yet they drafted him anyway. After a lot of turmoil that lasted a year he finally joined the Flyers.
There is a few stories out there like these and some with actual legitimate reasons to not want to sign. Rich Gannon had good reason when New England drafted him, they wanted to move him positions, now that I can see. It didn’t take long before he was moved to the Minnesota Vikings.
The reasons like “marketing” doesn’t make sense to me, if you’re a superstar I don’t care where you play, you’re going to get endorsements. Cold weather is another ridiculous reason not to go to a team as a rookie. Eli Manning’s reasoning has to be the dumbest in history. Getting drafted to a bad team would hurt your career. Like DUDE, those are the only teams at the top of the draft, you get selected, you improve that team and make a name for yourself, that is how it works.
So PLEASE Zion Williamson, just go to the Pelicans and play. There is no reason not to go, if you don’t want to play for them after your rookie contract then leave, but don’t be that guy that causes a scene. Prove yourself there first. The endorsements will follow.