After selecting former Arizona Wildcats’ forward Aaron Gordon with the fourth-overall pick, the Magic gave up the rights to 12th-overall pick, forward Dario Saric, and a future pick to acquire the rights to the 10th-overall pick, former Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns’ point guard Elfrid Payton.
Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders wonders what kind of impact Payton can make with the Magic’s starting back court, Jameer Nelson and Arron Afflalo out of the picture.
After a great showing in the Orlando Summer League, Payton has Magic fans excited for the future. Payton should be a player to keep an eye on this year and could find himself starting immediately for the Magic. Stats from summer league are often taken with a grain of salt but Payton’s shouldn’t be overlooked. Payton averaged 9.2 points, seven assists, 5.2 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game and has earned comparisons to Rajon Rondo. Both Payton and Rondo struggle with shooting the ball, but benefit by their quickness and ability to score in transition. On a team looking for a leading scorer after trading away Arron Afflalo and letting Jameer Nelson go, Payton will have the green light to score at will and keep the offense moving.
Payton may not begin the year as the Magic’s starting point guard but will likely get plenty of playing time, much like Victor Oladipo, the 2013-2014 runner-up for the Rookie of the Year Award, did last season.
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 at the NBA’s Scouting Combine.
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