Better: Gary Payton II
Payton was the one that got away for the Raptors, as he was one of their best G League players with Raptors 905 right before the Warriors were able to snatch him away. Playing everywhere from point guard to small forward down in the post, Payton was a very unique chess piece for that team.
Payton averaged 7.1 points and 3.5 rebounds per game while connecting on a ridiculous 62% of his shots from the field. We already know how much Nick Nurse loves to fiddle with lineups and throw unique combinations out on the floor, and there aren’t much better in that role than Payton.
Gary Payton II would fill so many holes for the Toronto Raptors.
Payton is not a great shooter right now, as his 36% 3-point percentage could stand to be slightly improved. Payton would go to another master shot doctor in Nurse that is more than willing to let him use his unique physical gifts to fit in on Toronto’s defense.
Very rarely are players who come up through Raptors 905 tossed aside and left to be picked up by other teams before Toronto can maximize the value they bring to the table. Ujiri can correct the mistake of adding Freddie Gillespie over him by robbing him back in 2022.