Mar 21, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Louisiana Lafayette Ragin Cajuns guard Elfrid Payton (2) drives against Creighton Bluejays guard Grant Gibbs (10) in the first half of a men

Draft: Sacramento Kings take Elfrid Payton in latest mock draft

ESPN NBA Draft expert Chad Ford released his latest mock draft, version 8.0, today. In that mock draft, Ford had the Sacramento Kings selecting Elfrid Payton.

Elfrid Payton is an athletic score first point guard that most believe will play point guard in the NBA. While you have to take all mock drafts with a grain of salt, Payton to the Kings at number eight seems logical especially in Ford’s mock draft. When the Kings made their selection  Marcus Smart, Noah Vonleh, and Aaron Gordon were all off the board. Smart, Vonleh and Gordon are among the names most commonly associated with the Kings. The selection also makes sense because the Kings are reported to be in the market for a point guard, specifically one with the size Payton posses.

While Ford believes the Sacramento Kings are trying to find a trade partner, he is working under the assumption they keep the pick. Chad Ford explained why the Sacramento Kings could pull the trigger on Elfrid Payton at number eight.

“The Kings continue to be active in trying to trade the pick, with multiple sources saying that a trade is more likely than the Kings drafting where they are. But until a deal materializes, we have to take a look at what they are doing. Point guard seems to be a main area of focus, and both Marcus Smart and Payton are in the mix here. If the Lakers or Celtics grab Smart and Julius Randle falls, I think they could shock everyone and take Payton over a player like Randle. Two months ago, having Payton this high seemed nuts, but he’s been one of just two or three guys that have gotten rave reviews in every workout they have had. His size, toughness, defense and leadership abilities would all be welcome in Sacramento.”

The Sacramento Kings would pass on Julius Randle in the current mock which may surprise most NBA Draft pundits. Between the Kings depth at the power forward spot and the need for point guard the Kings may be inclined to select Payton. Especially if they view Payton and Randle as similar prospects.

Another thing to keep in mind is the Kings  “high level of interest” in Payton could be used as a smoke screen to help facilitate a trade or have a more coveted player fall to them at number eight.

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