2. Gary Payton II
Gary Payton II played 11 games with the Los Angeles Lakers back in the 2017-18 season. Payton has been unable to put together the kind of career that his father did and has been nothing more than a backend rotation player.
The biggest sacrifice you are making with Payton is on the offensive side of the court. Payton is not a fantastic shooter, is not that great of a finisher at the rim and overall, leaves a lot to be desired on the offensive side of the court.
However, as a backend depth option, we are not that concerned with that, at least in this instance. With Payton, his value lies on the defensive side of the court, where he is sneaky good and in Frank Vogel’s system could blossom into someone who provides quality defensive minutes.
Payton averaged 1.1 steals per game in 14.9 minutes per game last season. Per Basketball-Index, Payton registered a 0.55 defensive PIPM last season. That is not elite, but it is certainly above average and much better than what Cook offered defensively.
My favorite stat about Payton, which shows his hustle and the impact the makes on the defensive end, are deflections. Payton ranked fairly high in deflections last season, averaging 2.4 deflections per game.
Again, Payton only played in 14.9 minutes per game. The next-most deflections per game for someone who played 15 minutes or fewer a game belonged to Jeremiah Martin, who averaged 1.8 deflections in 11 minutes.