Could we see Gary Payton II in the NBA some day? The son of Sonics legend Gary Payton is currently a junior at Oregon State University and has led his team to the top spot in the Pac-12 conference. Here are Payton's stats after seven games:
Payton's Beavers are 5-2 and Payton's stats put him in the top 15 of Pac-12 players in seven different categories. Are they enough to get him into the NBA? For reference, here are Gary Payton's stats during his junior year at OSU, as well as his senior year when he was named the best college player by Sports Illustrated and drafted #2 by the Seattle Supersonics:
While senior was clearly a better scorer, GP2 still leads his team in points per game and is twelfth in the conference. The younger Payton is much more athletic than his father, which leads to more rebounds and blocks. He also seemingly protects the ball more, averaging two less turnovers than The Glove did in his senior year, however the elder dominated in the assists category, and had an assist to turnover ratio of 2.2 versus 1.2 for GP2. Payton II is also a better shooter in all categories.
Obviously, it's somewhat unfair to compare Gary Payton II, who gave himself the nickname "The Mitten" but is known by Sonics Rising staff as "The Glove-Child," to his father. The elder Payton is a Hall of Famer and, arguably, the best point guard to ever play the game of basketball. Payton II, though, says he shares the same defensive mindset as his dad, but calls himself more of "a leaper."
I'm more of a leaper. He wasn't really a leaper. Defensive-wise, we got the same mentality. Offensive-wise, he was a little bit more aggressive. I'm kind of more like get the team involved, make everybody around me better. There's some similarities there."
He also says that while he does talk some trash, he simply can't live up to his dad's legacy in that department.
"Yeah, I chip away at people. I try to get under some people's skin, it works sometimes. He went overboard with it. He's got the crown on that. I chip at people every now and then."
While it's pretty unlikely that GP2 will be the second pick in the 2016 draft, what do you think the chances are that we see him in the NBA someday?