The Orlando Magic have acquired point guard Elfrid Payton, the 10th pick, from the Philadelphia 76ers for forward Dario Saric, the 12th pick, the 76ers 2017 first round pick which was acquired in the Dwight Howard trade, and a future 2nd round pick.
Payton, a junior point guard out of Louisiana-Lafayette averaged 19.2 points, 6.0 rebounds 5.9 assists and 2.5 steals per game last season. Payton was one of the drafts biggest risers during the pre-draft process. Initially, he was expected to go late first round to early second but due to the strength of his workouts he vaulted all the way to 10.
Payton stands 6’3.75 and weighs in at 185 lbs. Payton’s biggest strength lies on the defensive end of the court. He consistently gets into a proper defensive stance and fights tooth and nail to get over screens. One of the most impressive things I witnessed about his defense is that he’s very proficient at picking opposing ball handlers pockets. Payton does possess a 6’8 wingspan which could allow him to defend shooting guards, as well as point guards.
Offensively, Payton is at his strongest in transition. He’s able to use his creative finishing ability and his solid vision to make the right play. The down side with him is that his jumper is fundamentally broken. His shot is going to need to be broken down as it’s fundamentally flawed and ineffective; he shot 25.9 percent from three last year. From what I witnessed, Payton’s playmaking a overrated. He is a very good pick and roll and transition player but he didn’t make decisions fast enough to get his guys the best looks. Another ding on Payton is that he has very high turnover numbers and a lot of that is a result of him being careless with his dribble and just losing the ball.
Payton will likely be viewed as the point guard of the future for the Magic. The first issue that comes to my mind is with the previous selection of Aaron Gordon that the Magic lineup of the future features no shooters. He is at his best when there’s space on offense to work with and if the Magic field a lineup of Payton-Oladipo-Harris-Gordon-Vucevic that doesn’t play to his strengths. As far as this season is concerned I believe that Payton will back up Jameer Nelson but could end up averaging more minutes thanks to his defensive prowess. You can read more about Elfrid Payton on Presto in the Paint here and here.