Less than two months ago, it is a safe bet that the majority of the basketball universe had not heard of former Louisiana-Lafayette point guard Elfrid Payton, but he has become one of the pivotal figures of the 2014 NBA Draft process. Payton has been shooting up various draft boards as a result of positive feedback from his workouts, and the Los Angeles Lakers have elected to bring Payton back for a second workout at the end of the week.
Keep eye on Louisiana Lafayette point guard Elfrid Payton, who is working out for Lakers for 2nd time Friday, a source told a Yahoo Sports.
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) June 17, 2014
The Lakers, who currently hold the seventh overall selection, would have seemed to be completely out of reach for Payton a few weeks ago, but with the latest mock draft from ESPN’s Chad Ford projecting the talented point guard to the Sacramento Kings with the eighth pick, it suddenly seems reasonable. Indications are that the Lakers are narrowing in on the point guard spot, and with both Marcus Smart and Elfrid Payton likely to be available, they will have their choice.
Not every mock draft is in love with Payton, as Draft Express pegs him 20th to the Toronto Raptors and NBADraft.net sends him to the Atlanta Hawks with the 15th pick, but the mere fact that Elfrid Payton is in the mix is an accomplishment. The small-school guard brings an elite blend of size and athleticism to the table, and if his offense can follow, Payton could have a long, productive career ahead of him.