No single player has made gains in the mock draft cycle like Murray State point guard Cameron Payne, who takes the #14 spot on our 2015 NBA Draft Board. Not even ranked in the top 30 by most draft experts just a few weeks ago, Payne is now squarely in consideration among a number of lottery teams, and some speculate he could hear his name called in the top ten.
Payne's physical characteristics are intriguing. He's not particularly tall or strong relative to his PG peers, but he has a very large wingspan and big hands. He's not an explosive leaper but does show good body control, especially with regard to his ball handling, where he can change speeds and maneuver through traffic quite well. The lack of bulk and athleticism are definite concerns at the next level, though.
Payne's ascent up draft boards is owed to his terrific combination of scoring ability and pure point guard instincts. He's one of the best passers in his draft class, with the top-ranked assist percentage of any player in DraftExpress's Top 100, and he pairs that talent with exceptional scoring skills. Payne used nearly a third of Murray State's possessions while on the court and averaged over 24 points per 40 minutes, all while maintaining a crisp 57% true shooting percentage. Simply put, there may be no guard in the 2015 NBA Draft with a better combination of scoring and passing skills.
Despite those outstanding numbers, there are concerns over how much of that production will translate to the NBA. While his outside shooting should continue to serve him well, Payne relied heavily on an in-between game in college to compensate for his struggles getting to the rim and finishing shots there. The floaters and mid-range jumpers he leaned on are notoriously difficult shots to use consistently in the NBA against long, athletic defenders, meaning Payne could find his offensive arsenal squeezed. And while he has a good steal rate, Payne's reputation as a defender is mixed, thanks to inconsistent effort and technique.
Brew Hoop Draft Board 2015
1. Karl-Anthony Towns - PF/C, Kentucky, Freshman - DraftExpress Profile
2. Jahlil Okafor - C, Duke, Freshman - DraftExpress Profile
3. D'Angelo Russell - G, Ohio State, Freshman - DraftExpress Profile
4. Emmanuel Mudiay - PG, International - DraftExpress Profile
5. Justise Winslow - SF, Duke, Freshman - DraftExpress Profile
6. Mario Hezonja - G/F, International - DraftExpress Profile
7. Willie Cauley-Stein - C, Kentucky, Junior - DraftExpress Profile
8. Kristaps Porzingis - PF, International - DraftExpress Profile
9. Stanley Johnson - SF, Arizona, Freshman - DraftExpress Profile
10. Frank Kaminsky - PF/C, Wisconsin, Senior - DraftExpress Profile
11. Myles Turner - C, Texas, Freshman - DraftExpress Profile
12. Kelly Oubre - SF, Kansas, Freshman - DraftExpress Profile
13. Devin Booker - SG, Kentucky, Freshman - DraftExpress Profile
14. Cameron Payne - PG, Murray State, Sophomore - DraftExpress Profile