If you've ever wanted to hop on the roller-coaster ride that some lottery picks experience when they are drafted, you've come to the right place. Below, we'll track the evening of Elfrid Payton—who was selected 10th in the 2014 NBA draft and not long after was traded—as it unfolded on Twitter.
The Philadelphia 76ers had an interesting draft. With the third overall selection, they took the incredibly talented but oft-injured center Joel Embiid, meaning for a second straight year, the team has selected a player who will start the season on the bench due to health concerns (last year, it was Nerlens Noel).
And then they really shook things up, selecting Louisiana-Lafayette point guard Elfrid Payton with their selection at No. 10, a move that left Twitter buzzing.
Almost immediately, there was speculation that a trade could be brewing, seeing as the Sixers already had a Rookie of the Year playing the point in Michael Carter-Williams. Within minutes of the selection, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports tweeted the following:
Elfrid Payton could be on the move, sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 27, 2014
And Andy Katz of ESPN added this:
I'm in the green room and Elfrid Payton's camp thinks he is on the move. ULL coach Bob Marlin said he didn't work out for Sixers.— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) June 27, 2014
The speculation ran rampant. Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated suspected a trade was brewing:
Hard to see how Payton fits in Philly. May have been picked to pull of the board, trade to a team that covets him later in the draft.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) June 27, 2014
So, too, did Zach Lowe of Grantland:
Will not be super-shocking if Payton moves before night is over.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) June 27, 2014
And more information started leaking out. David Aldridge of NBA.com offered the following:
The Magic will take Dario Saric at 12, but are likely to trade him to the Sixers for the rights to Elfrid Payton, per league source.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) June 27, 2014
Wojnarowski provided more insight into the trade:
Saric had been the Sixers choice, and finally called Magic to offer Elfrid Payton with 30 seconds left on the clock, league source said.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 27, 2014
And Ken Berger of CBS had the details on the move:
Philadelphia gets Orlando's 2017 first-round pick, 1-11 protected, in Saric-Payton deal. Pick is 1-8 protected in 2018.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) June 27, 2014
In addition to 2017 first-round pick, Philadelphia also gets a future second from Orlando in Saric-Payton deal, source says.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) June 27, 2014
For any folks who thought the Payton pick was a stretch—like, say, Will Carroll of Bleacher Report—the trade surely made more sense:
Did anyone have Elfrid Payton as a top ten guy in April?— Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) June 27, 2014
Carroll wasn't alone. Tony Mejia of ProBasketballNews.com offered his own take on Payton:
10.PHI-Elfrid Payton, G, UL-L: Yep, I watch Sun Belt games a lot. He's no surprise, but this is a reach. Fast, defends, can't shoot.— Tony Mejia (@TonyMejiaNBA) June 27, 2014
It's not hard to see why Orlando liked him, however. Needing a pure point guard to pair with last year's first-round pick, Victor Oladipo, the Magic were always probable suitors, especially after they took Aaron Gordon at No. 4 over Dante Exum.
Doug Gottlieb of CBS Sports has more:
Payton going to Orlando ends the Oladipo as PG experiment— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) June 27, 2014
Orlando with Payton,Oladipo and Gordon is about as crazy athletic as they come— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) June 27, 2014
Magic fans will be pleased with the following numbers, via ESPN Stats & Info:
And thus concludes Payton's whirlwind night. He has to be excited, joining a young and upcoming roster that includes Gordon, Oladipo and Nikola Vucevic. He gives the Magic the pure point guard they need, and he'll be coming to a place where he can grow and develop.
Payton's night certainly took an interesting twist after the Sixers selected him, tuned into the fact that they could squeeze out some additional draft picks from the Magic in a trade. But in the end, the man with the excellent hairdo will be heading to Orlando.