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.