Milwaukee Bucks 2016-17 Season Review: Gary Payton II

Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /
5 of 5
Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports /

Summer Focus and Final Grade

Making an NBA roster is no easy task. Many former four and five-star recruits and college stars have tried and failed. The Bucks are very familiar with Payton II and that’s likely one of the reasons they felt so comfortable in bringing him into the squad so late in the year.

Craig Robinson, the Milwaukee Bucks’ current Vice President of Player and Organizational Development, recruited Payton II before being relieved of his head coaching position at Oregon State, where Payton II played the final two years of his college career.

Also, Milwaukee Bucks coach Jason Kidd considers Gary Payton — Payton II’s father, and briefly a former Buck — to be a close friend and mentor throughout his NBA career.

The door has been opened for Payton II, it’s now up to him to prove that he can make a contribution to the Bucks. Payton II will most likely be given an opportunity to make the Bucks’ opening day roster as the 15th man, having signed a partially guaranteed two-year deal.

One of the key areas where Payton II will be expected to contribute is on the defensive end as he makes full use of his 6’8″ wing span and 38.5 inch vertical leap. The Bucks will need a third point guard throughout the season to give top defensive effort and the occasional offensive burst to get through a tough stretch.

If Payton II continues to work on his shooting ability I can see him being exactly that kind of player. With a newly named NBA G-League team coming to Oshkosh, Payton II should at least have the opportunity to improve his game while gaining valuable experience close to home within the organization.

As for this year, there just hasn’t been enough to issue a final grade. Let’s file the Gary Payton II/Milwaukee Bucks story under “to be continued” for now.

BTBP Final Grade: Incomplete

Next: Milwaukee Bucks 2016-17 Season Review: Malcolm Brogdon

Stick with us in the coming days as we continue our season in review series.