Louisiana-Lafayette point guard Elfrid Payton will enter the NBA Draft on Monday, according to a report from Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com.
Payton averaged 19.2 points, 6.0 boards, 5.9 assists and 2.3 steals as a junior for the Ragin’ Cajuns, who made a run to the NCAA tournament this season. And while he has played three seasons at the collegiate level, Payton is young for his age; he was on the Team USA U-19 team last summer, a group made up of guys that were mostly freshmen or sophomore this past year. Jahlil Okafor, who was a high school senior this past season, was on that team as well.
Payton came out of relative obscurity to make that team. He was barely recruited coming out of high school, stuck as a young senior on a good high school team whose best player was also a point guard. But he grew a couple inches, and physically matured as well, during his time on the UL campus.
At 6-foot-3, Payton is an athletic point guard with long arms. He can really get after it on the defensive end of the floor, and he’s terrific in transition and when he can get a lane and a head of steam going to the basket. Where he struggles is with his ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter. He’s not a lock to get drafted in the first round, but he’s projected to fall somewhere in that 20-40 range.