If you were scratching your head when Adam Silver introduced the 10th overall pick of this year’s draft, now might be a good time to familiarize yourself. Elfrid Payton is set to start at point for the Orlando Magic this season, and the 6’4″ guard is already racking up highlights like this hard crossover during the Orlando Summer League. He finished yesterday just shy of a triple-double, with 12 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in Orlando’s 87-69 win over the Houston Rockets.
Though he prides himself on the defensive end, Payton is no slouch with the ball in his hands. He averaged six assists per game last season with Lousiana-Lafayette, and put his handles and dishing ability on display Monday versus Houston. Here, he crosses Jahii Carson, draws attention near the rim and dishes to Dewayne Dedmon for the oop.
After three years in the Sun Belt Conference, Payton established himself as one of the league’s top point guard prospects this season, providing a solid all-around skillset. He grabbed six boards per game last season as the team’s second-leading rebounder, and led the way in scoring with 19 points a game. His 2.3 steals per contest led the conference and qualified for 18th-best in the nation.
Presumably starting in the backcourt with Victor Oladipo for Orlando this year, the Magic will have no shortage of young talent to showcase—or at least Rob Hennigan hopes so. Payton’s rights wound up costing him Dario Saric and two future picks via a draft-day trade with Sixers madman GM Sam Hinkie.