For a moment, I was afraid the Orlando Magic would make the same mistake they made with Fran Vazquez when they selected Dario Saric 12th overall, as the former first round draft pick ditched the Magic to continue to play in Europe.
Saric is a nice international prospect, but the Magic do not need prospects right now. They need players who can come in and contribute right away, and as a result, they traded with the Philadelphia 76ers for their first round selection, Elfrid Payton. He is the point guard who can come in right away and make the Magic a much better ball club.
Payton is a defensive menace who also has a knack for creating his own shots and shots for his teammates by snaking into the paint. His defensive skill will mesh well with Victor Oladipo and they could potentially form one of the most feared defensive backcourts in the NBA next season.
Many NBA pundits are comparing his game to Rajon Rondo, and it is not hard to see why. Rondo and Payton both have the same game, are both pass first point guards, and both love to pick the pockets of opposing NBA players. The Magic were in desperate need of a point guard. Jameer Neslon was no longer getting it done and the team obviously needed to look towards the future.
Payton can develop into one of the game’s great point guards, similar to Gary Payton, a prospect who developed into a Hall of Fame player with his defensive skills. Payton can be that same player and Orlando will give him every opportunity to become that type of player.
Orlando has done a great job in this year’s NBA Draft.