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Caught up in the 2014 NBA Draft whirlwind, I got the chance to sit in on a few of the media scrums around Green Room invites; some realistic targets within the Grizzlies’ range, and others just downright interesting to listen to. As the day progresses, I’ll be dropping a few little nuggets from these encounters.

Up first is Elfrid Payton from Louisiana-Lafayette, who you can read about in depth here.

Photo: Beth Hall / USA Today Sports

School: Louisiana-Lafayette
Height: 6’4
Weight: 185
Class: Junior
Age: 20

Payton is a lengthy lead guard who has seen his draft stock skyrocket over the past month. As an upperclassman coming out of a less-heralded basketball juggernaut, it’s inevitable that he would hear the chatter likening him to Damian Lillard, who blazed his trail to Portland (I should seriously have my blogging license revoked for that one) from Weber State. Though their play styles differ, like Lillard before him, Payton’s not slipping through the cracks any longer. His name came up frequently and without hesitation, when his draft compatriots were questioned regarding opposing prospects that stood out to them throughout the process.

Narratively speaking, due to the Lillard connection, Payton had previously mentioned how his coach would feed him articles on the second year phenom over the course of the year to motivate him to follow in suit. As such, I decided to ask him if there were any other players that Coach Marlin would keep him posted on. He declined any other specific players, but reiterated the impact of the practice, which you can hear in the following audio. In the clip, he also touches upon his draft night attire and the meaning (or lack thereof) of him coming from a smaller program.

Be sure to check back shortly for some more of the Prospect Plunge. And give me a shout on Twitter @StevieDanziger for some live Draft Day coverage!

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