With the NBA Draft getting closer and closer, we are starting to hear names we really weren’t before start to rise up boards and get serious considerations for high picks. Take Louisiana-Lafayette point guard Elfrid Payton as the latest example of this as he appears to be the mid-major player that everyone falls in love with in the 11th hour.
It’s not a bad thing that Payton is rocketing up draft boards, as the last guy to do that was a guard out of Weber State named Damian Lillard and that’s worked out well so far for the Portland Trail Blazers who took him No. 6 overall in the 2012 NBA Draft.
According to Chad Ford, the stock for Payton is absolutely through the roof in these final weeks before the NBA Draft and he could end up going as high as No. 7 overall to the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers need a point guard and they need one now. They’ve gone far too long with just Kobe Bryant leading the team and we’ve seen the NBA morph into a point guard league in the time Kobe has been playing. With the exception of the Miami Heat, every team that made it to the Conference Semifinal round of the playoffs this year had a star point guard leading them as the likes of Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Damian Lillard, John Wall and others helped lead their teams deep into the playoffs.
Los Angeles has no one and that’s likely to change in the draft. Marcus Smart and Dante Exum are options for the Lakers as well, but Payton is shooting up boards and he may start to become more realistic of an option at No. 7 the closer we get to the draft.