Gary Payton II is making an impact this season with the Golden State Warriors. While only averaging 6.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 0.9 assists in 13 minutes per night, he is still impacting the game on the defensive end and as a glue guy.
Payton, who has mostly bounced around in the G-League for the past few seasons, currently leads the NBA in an estimated defensive plus-minus. Payton is taking after his Hall-of-Fame father, Gary Payton, one of the best defensive players in NBA history.
While Payton does not look for his offense much, he is shooting 29-36 from two-point range, which is good for 80 percent, and pretty much means Payton shoots primarily high percentage shots. Payton is shooting 68 percent from the field on the season.
Payton is at the top of the NBA in steal percentage for combo guards, according to Cleaning the Glass, and leads the NBA in deflections per 36 minutes.
Payton averaged 14.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 2.8 steals per game in two seasons at Oregon State. He won Pac-12 Defensive Player of the year in both seasons. Payton never got drafted, played 85 games in the G-League and won Defensive Player of the Year in G-League also.
Payton has played six NBA seasons with four teams and finally found his niche with the Warriors this season. Payton is athletic and plays excellent defense. He is a perfect role player for the Warriors. If Payton continues to improve his offense, he could turn out to be an even more outstanding player for the Warriors.
Lamarr Fields is a Contributor for Unwrapped Sports Network. Follow him on on Twitter @raiderway83