According to a report, Elfrid Payton came to the New York Knicks with the impression that he would be the starting point guard.
After Friday night’s preseason game, New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale admitted that he didn’t want to think of the point guard battle. After disappointing preseasons for all three point guards, Fizdale has a tough decision to make.
Additionally, there’s another wrinkle in the point guard battle after a recent report from Marc Berman of the New York Post.
“According to a New Orleans source, Elfrid Payton was all but promised he would be the starter when he agreed on a two-year, $16 million deal with the Knicks on July 1,” wrote Berman.
Frank Ntilikina sat on Friday in order for the coaching staff to give Payton and Dennis Smith Jr. a longer look. Unless Fizdale is just playing coy, the Knicks aren’t committed to Payton as the starting point guard just yet.
In three preseason games, Payton averaged 3.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game. Those numbers are uninspiring, to say the least, and his 25% field-goal percentage and 20% three-point percentage are abysmal.
To make matters worse, Payton coughed up five turnovers against his old team, the New Orleans Pelicans, on Friday. With all that said, it’s important to keep preseason games in perspective.
The sample size is infinitesimal and it always takes a little while for new players to settle into their new environment. However, the Knicks and Fizdale made it clear that the players will need to earn their playing time.
Payton didn’t beat anyone out for the point guard job, but he may end up winning it by default.