Gary Payton II Scouting Report
FG: 48.1 %
Height (w/shoes): 6’2.5”
Max Vert: N/A
Gary Payton Jr. had an impressive season for the Oregon State Beavers in 2015/2016, stuffing the stat sheet on both sides of the floor. But on the NBA level, his game is still too raw to warrant a first round pick at 23 years old. His most NBA-ready attribute is his great athleticism. A quick glance at his highlights will show that he can comfortably play above the rim at the point guard position and can thrive in transition. A further look will show that his overall offensive game leaves a lot to be desired.
His reliance on athleticism rather than skill will hinder him at the NBA level because he will be dealing with opponents that can match his athleticism. His inability to consistently hit the midrange jump shot and the 3-point shot make him a bit of a liability on the offensive end. His ball dominance, despite his lack of shot making ability makes him a tough fit for modern NBA offenses. He’s a late bloomer despite growing up in a basketball household.
His defense will be his calling card at first. He showed tremendous, game-changing defensive ability throughout his college career and some of the ability should translate well in an NBA that has a demand for guards that can defend. He’s an amazing rebounder for his height and position and a solid shot blocker too. Depending on where he lands, his only chance at playing time is if he can exhibit those traits on an NBA court.
I expect Gary Payton II to be a mid 2nd round pick in this year’s draft. At that spot, he can be a low-risk project that can develop into a rotational player over time. He has shown a willingness to improve over his college career and that attitude should serve him well in the NBA too. He could become a very solid professional if he learns to play without the ball and gets some consistency with his shooting.