25. Elfrid Payton, Orlando Magic
Position: Point Guard
2014-15 Slash Line: .425/.262/.551
2014-15 Season Averages: 30.4 MPG, 8.9 PPG, 6.5 APG, 4.3 RPG, 1.7 SPG
Accolades: 2015 All-Rookie First Team
It didn’t take very long for Elfrid Payton to become one of the more well-rounded young point guards in the NBA. He flirted with many a triple-double during his rookie season, and even stepped up as a scorer after the All-Star Break.
Payton’s jumper needs to improve, but his work ethic permits any measure of upside.
There’s a very rational comparison to be made between Payton and either Michael Carter-Williams or Rajon Rondo. He’s a pure point guard whose court vision and defensive prowess project to become elite.
He’s also a dreadful shooter who will struggle to score with consistency until that changes.
The good news is that Payton improved his field goal, 3-point field goal and free throw percentages after the All-Star Break. He did so while making the jump from 7.9 points and 5.7 assists in 28.0 minutes to 11.1 points and 8.3 assists in 35.5 minutes per game.
If Payton can improve his jump shot and free throw shooting, the Orlando Magic will evolve into a contender.