With the 14th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder have chosen point guard Cameron Payne to finish off the lottery. It seems like every year a talented mid-major point guard’s stock rises as we near the draft, and Payne’s ability to score and distribute in the pick-and-roll helped him rise this year.
At 6-2 and a wiry 185 pounds, Payne has adequate size and quickness for a starting point guard at the next level. Where Payne separates himself is his ability to create off the pick-and-roll combined with his ability to shoot from mid-range and three-point distance.
Payne shot a solid 37 percent from three as a sophomore and 45.6 percent on two-point jump shots, of which 81.8 percent were unassisted, per hoop-math.com. He improved big time on his shot from his freshman to sophomore year, and he’ll need to continue to extend his range in the NBA.
Payne will need to continue to add strength to his frame, which will help him defensively and while finishing at the rim. The lefty has the tools to be a successful starting point guard, but will need to continue to refine his game as he gets used to the physical nature of the league.
In the pick-and-roll friendly NBA, he’ll be an asset as a playmaker off the bench immediately in Oklahoma City. The Thunder needed another creator, and Payne fits the bill.
NBA comparison: Mike Conley
2014-15 stats: 20.2 ppg, 6.0 apg, 1.9 spg (45.6 FG%, 37.7 3P%, 78.7 FT%)