When Elfrid Payton declared for the 2014 NBA Draft, many front offices weren’t sure what to make of him. From a skills standpoint he looked really good. From an athletic standpoint he looked even better. But he wasn’t from a major school and there were concerns he’d find the NBA transition difficult.
As time leading up to the draft passes, more and more scouts couldn’t help but rave about the young talent and his stock continued to rise. There were even some pundits who predicted that Payton could be a top-5 pick, though he eventually was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 10th pick before being acquired by the Orlando Magic.
It remains to be seen how well he’ll be able to play in the NBA but there have been nothing but glowing endorsements for the rookie, especially from his previous college coach Bob Marlin who says Elfrid Payton has an Allen Iverson-like crossover.
“I told all of the NBA guys that I had never coached in their league, but I’m a fan of the NBA and I watch. I told them that there are two things I know – Elfrid is really good defender and he can absolutely get to the paint against grown men in the NBA,’’ Marlin said. “He’s shown it at every level. He has an (Allen) Iverson-like crossover and such a great pace about him.”
Marlin went on to state that he believes Payton will be a great NBA point guard and while he does have some understandable bias, everything Elfrid Payton has shown so far seems to echo such a sentiment.
Sounds like the Orlando Magic may have themselves a winner.