Since draft workouts began, Elfrid Payton has been a name often mentioned in regards to prospects finding themselves on the up-and-up in the NBA Draft. Projected an late first-round, early second-round pick by the college seasons end, Payton is now projected to be a near-lottery pick and according to Sean Deveny of Sporting News, some team may have promised the Louisville point guard just that.
There are rumors that Payton has received a promise from a team in the teens, and it would not be a shock if he were picked in the lottery. If not, Toronto is eyeing point guards.
With so many teams rumored to make a move or at least contemplate doing so, it’s difficult to predict where Payton lands. Chad Ford of ESPN.com predicts Payton goes 12th to the Orlando Magic. Jeff Goodman of ESPN and Draft Express’ Jonothan Givony expect Payton to be swept off the board by the Toronto Raptors at pick 20.
With Marcus Smart and Dante Exum expected to be off the board at least by the Los Angeles Lakers pick at six, Payton could be a shoo-in for any team that needs a point guard. The Sacramento Kings come to mind as they waver on the idea of paying Isaiah Thomas loads of money this summer. As Ford noted, Payton to Orlando makes sense despite his ability to shoot the ball. Chicago at 15, Boston at 16, and Phoenix at 17 also make sense as Payton could be used as a marquee backup and point guard insurance.
Whoever it is that has given Payton this promise, they’ll have themselves a nice point guard on hand if Payton pans out as expected.