The Lakers badly need to improve their defense and it’s difficult to do that without someone who can be a lockdown defender on the perimeter. Enter the son of arguably the best perimeter defender in NBA history, Gary Payton II.
As a point guard, Payton displays only solid vision and playmaking skills. He also is just an average shooter who likely will never be elite from three-point range. He will likely be a solid offensive player, but it is on the other end where he will make all the difference.
Payton has the potential to be an elite defender at the next level. Though he is only 6’3 he has a 6’8 wingspan and is strong enough to defend just about any guard at the NBA level. He collects a lot of steals and even some blocks thanks to his outstanding athleticism and length. He is also one of the best rebounding guards in the country, averaging nearly eight per game.
As a 23 year old, his room for growth may not be as high as some others, but for a team in dire need of an improvement on the defensive side, there may not be a better choice.