2015 NBA Draft Profile: Gary Payton II


Now entering March with just 16 wins, the Lakers need help everywhere they can get.  Jordan Clarkson has developed well with increased playing time on the floor.  The resurgence of Jeremy Lin has provided some stability on the offensive end. 

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But, it’s very clear the Lakers need help defensively, especially along the perimeter.  This is where Gary Payton II can help out most.

Gary Payton II could be the combo guard the Lakers want in the upcoming 2015 NBA Draft.  The 6’3″ junior combo guard with great defensive abilities is 22 years old, yet demonstrates point guard potential at the offensive end. 

Name: Gary Payton II

School: Oregon State

Position: Point Guard/Shooting Guard

Height: 6’3″

Weight: 175 pounds

Draft Position: Second round

Overview: The late blooming guard with a famous name shows some skills that may remind people of his father’s defensive abilities.  As a combo guard, he rebounds and defends bigger than his size.  He has spent three years at Salt Lake Community College, but the recent transfer to Oregon State is putting up some monster numbers in the Pac-12.

Gary Payton II Explodes for the Dunk

Why the Lakers Should Be Excited: Offense is what most people stare at the most in regards to the draft. With Gary Payton II, it’s the other side of the court. According to SportsReference.com, through 30 games, the 6’3″ guard is averaging 7.5 rebounds, 3.1 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game in 36.3 minutes of play.  Offensively, he’s not a slouch.  He surprises people with his quick leaping ability, and scores 13.3 points per game on 48.7% from the field, but a devestating 56.1% in two-point range.  He’s shooting an average 29.5% behind the three-point arc, but has good shooting mechanics.  That percentage can be improved on.

Gary Payton II Records a Triple Double

Why the Lakers Should be Wary:  While he is able to get his hands on everything defensively, there is a lot of work needed at the offensive end for the point guard position.  Payton II does not possess the greatest change of direction on the drive or initial quickness getting past the defender.  He would be considered a great three-and-D player at the shooting guard slot, but he is listed at 6’3″.

Gary Payton II with Three Blocks in Transition

Final Say: The development of Jordan Clarkson as a point guard can create a better fit next to Payton II.  Payton can defend point guards well, and Clarkson has the size and length to defend shooting guards.  While most teams are looking for playmakers on the offensive end, Payton II can be a playmaker on the defensive end.  Forcing turnovers has been an issue with the Lakers and good perimeter defenders are tough to come by at the point guard slot.  With Clarkson handling the playmaking, Payton II can spot up or find the open man in the half-court set.  If it works out, the Lakers will have a steal second round pick, as long as the team is patient and willing to develop him long term.

Next: Jeremy Lin: 3 Theories Behind Recent Resurgence