Despite not getting the start, Orlando Magic point guard Elfrid Payton put up 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in Wednesday's 118-102 loss to the Detroit Pistons, becoming the first Magic player since Brian Shaw in 1995-96 to record a triple-double off the bench, per ESPN Stats & Info.
Having recently missed five consecutive games from March 11 to March 18 due to a wrist injury, Payton was dropped from the starting lineup in favor of Brandon Jennings, who was acquired along with forward Ersan Ilyasova in the February trade that sent forward Tobias Harris to the Detroit Pistons.
Both Jennings and Payton have been inconsistent since, leading to a rotation of sorts in the Orlando backcourt, with 31-year-old C.J. Watson also having a role in some games.
However, the 22-year-old Payton appeared to re-assert himself in Wednesday's contest, as his triple-double was accompanied by just one turnover, though he did only make nine of his 21 field-goal attempts.
Selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 10th overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, Payton was expected to struggle with shooting early in his career, having made just 30 of 112 three-point attempts during his three-year tenure at Louisiana-Lafayette.
Undeterred, the Magic made an aggressive move to acquire the young point guard on draft night, giving the 76ers the rights to prized international prospect Dario Saric, along with a future first-round pick and a future second-round pick.
While the jury is obviously still out on him, the Magic will likely move Payton back into the starting lineup soon enough, as evaluation will be of the utmost importance over the final few weeks of a non-playoff season.
On an unrelated note, Payton is actually the third NBA player to record a triple-double off the bench this season, joining Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (Jan. 15) and Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (Feb. 5), per ESPN Stats & Info.