Outside the Draft Box: Who is Elfrid Payton? (w/video)

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Elfrid Payton is a player that keeps getting mentioned in the draft.  Few know who is because he’s a from a small school.  Should you get to know him?


Elfrid Payton is a 6’3″ point guard with a long wingspan.  His height and length will remind you of Marcus Smart.  His frame, won’t.  While he comes from a small school, he has proven himself against stronger NCAA teams. Draftexpress provided excellent coverage of Elfrid Payton against stronger competition.




Payton has a set of triple threat skill to build upon.  Offensively, his strength is attacking the basket.  Marcus Smart has a decent first step and above average ball-handling ability.  When he attacks the basket, he brings the defender with him on his shoulder, and bumps him off-balance to create contact and finish.  Elfrid Payton, on the other hand, uses in-and-out dribbles or a crossover from either hand as a starting point. That ball-handling skill combined with his quickness, more than Smart, gets him to the basket untouched from the perimeter.  He blows by defenders.  While he has a long wingspan at 6’8″, he is an average finisher at best around the basket. Some players can’t put a soft touch on the ball.  Rajon Rondo has the advantage of having an even longer wingspan with power forward-sized hands.  Finishing around the basket is easier for him.  Payton needs to develop a floater, or find a better way to jump into the chest of opposing defenders.  That’ll help him free up his arms for a better shot at the rim.

His jumpshot is also a work in progress.  While he has good form, it is more of a set shot than a true jumpshot.  He doesn’t have consistent arc.  He doesn’t have a consistent follow-through.  His touch from the perimeter is nearly non-existent. Some players can shoot from range, get decent arc, but shoot a soft shot from distance.  That is not the case with Payton.  He shoots 25% behind the NCAA 3-point line and 59% from the free throw line. That is not encouraging.

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