I wonder what the Knicks’ thought processes as an organization were when they decided to sign Elfrid Payton to a reasonable-on-the-surface two-year deal that pays him eight million dollars both years. Like, I legitimately wonder what kind of crazy meeting had to go on in a bland corporate conference room for them to come to the conclusion that Payton was going to be a good fit for them. Did they have a whiteboard that they brainstormed on? Did one of the more powerful executives just come in and yell “WE’RE SIGNING ELFRID PAYTON” and that was that? Did James Dolan perform a show with his band where they played a song called “Paid in Blood”, and the words “Paid In” in the title of the song reminded him of the name “Payton”? I have so many questions and no answers to any of them. All I can do is scrutinize their internal processes from afar.
Payton is one of the better passers in the league. That’s what the stats say and I believe the stats because I don’t have anything else to believe. However, putting a good passer on a team of not-good passers isn’t going to suddenly turn the team into a ball-moving juggernaut. It’s just going to mean that the good passer will rack up assists to teammates who don’t give up the ball once it’s passed to them. I suppose that having a guy like Payton is better than having some non-passer like, I dunno, Michael Carter-Williams or something, but the signing still doesn’t quite make sense.
Not only is Payton’s passing wasted on a team full of ball-hogs, but Payton hasn’t even shown that he can be the starter for a playoff team (something the Knicks were allegedly aiming to be before the season started). If the Knicks wanted a PG who would take them to the playoffs, they should’ve looked elsewhere. Yeah, they didn’t get Kyrie like they wanted, but you don’t have to skip straight from Kyrie to Payton.
And that’s not even getting into the fact that Payton has no jumpshot to speak of. The Knicks’ spacing just doesn’t exist. There is no space. And Payton is a large contributor to that problem.
I just realized that I would literally pay thousands of dollars to sit in on one of the Knicks’ meetings where they decide which players to target. Footage from that meeting sold on the darkweb would net me so much Bitcoin. My bitwallet would be bitbursting.