The hits just keep on hittin’.
With the Payton signing, the Knicks put an end to the Emmanuel Mudiay era. I’m not crying. Something in my eye, that’s all.
Payton is a big guard, 6’4”, whose assist percentage last year and over his career is slightly higher than any Knicks’ last season. His assist-to-turnover ratio was nearly three to one. The Knicks have already added shooters in Reggie Bullock and Wayne Ellington, so they shouldn’t have to count on Payton to proliferate from the perimeter, which is providential, as Elfrid from outside is what the French call not good. He seems to know his limitations, having taken 70% of his shots from 10 feet and in last year. According to basketball-reference.com, Payton played 100% of his minutes last year at the point and 1% as a two-guard, so hopefully his ability to transcend math bodes well for his future and the Knicks’.
Payton brings size to the point guard spot. His steals are down from earlier in his career, but it doesn’t seem like a stretch to think he’ll serve well on that end, especially late in games where Dennis Smith Jr. isn’t quite slanging it; a Payton/Frank Ntilikina late-game backcourt could be thick as thieves. As is the case with all the Knick signings this summer, the team holds an option on Payton’s contract for next year. New York still has the room exception of $5M to work with, plus a couple mil under the couch cushions. The team continues the trend it started last year of importing and attempting to reclamate recent lottery picks (Mudiay, Mario Hezonja, Noah Vonleh, DSJ). Five years ago Payton was the 10th pick in the draft.
Unless the Knicks have a trade in the works, the roster building should be slowing. Stay tuned. Better yet, live your lives and let us stay tuned for you. We’ll be in touch, bae.