Every year there is a player that seems to shoot up the draft boards over the last few weeks before the draft and is selected higher than anyone projected.
Sometimes teams simply miss out on a player, perhaps because he plays for a smaller school and didn’t see great competition. Other times, just one team falls in love with a certain player and surprise everyone by taking him (see the Cleveland Cavaliers selecting former UNLV Runnin’ Rebels’ forward Anthony Bennett with the number one-overall pick last year).
That player this year could be former Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns’ point guard Elfrid Payton. According to Yannis Koutroupis of Basketball Insiders believes Payton could “skyrocket” up the draft boards.
It seems like there’s a legitimate chance that Elfrid Payton could skyrocket into the lottery based on how well he’s performed in workouts. I think what’s happening more than anything is teams are starting to become more familiar with him and respect him after seeing him go up against some of the other top guards in the draft class. I think that Randle because of his injury, Saric because of his buyout and Jusuf Nurkic because of his buyout and off court concerns could all tumble more than hoped on draft night.
Payton put up 19.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 2.3 steals per game and shot 50.0% from the floor, but just 25.9% from beyond the arc and 59.0% from the free throw line. He measured in at 6’3.75 and 185 lbs. with a wingspan of 6’8. Payton is ranked by Jonathan Givony of Draft Express as the 23rd-best prospect in the draft.