About an hour ago, we brought you the news that Terrence Jones had been waived by the Bucks. Well, the team wasted no time in filling that open roster spot, as Charles Gardner reports that they will be signing Gary Payton II out of the D-League. Payton II is the son of Gary Payton, who played for the Bucks in 2003 after being acquired in a trade. You know the trade.
The 24-year-old Payton played his first two collegiate seasons at Salt Lake Community College, before signing a letter of intent to play at Oregon State for his final two seasons. He was First Team All Pac-12 and Pac-12 DPOY in both his seasons, leading the Pac-12 in total steals and steals per game in those seasons while snagging an absurd-for-a-point-guard 8.7 rebounds and one block per 40 minutes.
After going undrafted in 2016 and being waived by the Houston Rockets in training camp, Payton found a home with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the D-League, where he averaged 14.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.0 steals per game. His most glaring weakness is in the shooting department: he shot only 30% from deep in college as well as in the D-League this season.
Perhaps his most relevant attributes are his 6’3” height and 6’8” wingspan. I say this not because they are solid-to-good attributes for a guard, but because this move being made so quickly could suggest that the Bucks are well aware of the lack of depth in their guard rotation. As Adam put it earlier:
“While Jones’ exit isn’t a significant loss, it may be an indication Malcolm Brogdon’s injury could keep him out longer than just last night’s game. The lack of guard depth was telling, with Rashad Vaughn seeing his most significant action in weeks. Lineups with Matthew Dellavedova, Jason Terry and Vaughn, as was the case to start last night’s second quarter, aren’t exactly ideal.”
Like Gardner reported, Payton II is expected to sign his deal Sunday. Though the signing is happening late in the season, Payton should also be eligible for the playoffs if need be.
In the meantime, partake in some highlights.