NEW YORK (AP) — Gary Payton II is following in his father’s footsteps when it comes to elite defense.
Payton II was announced Friday as the G League’s defensive player of the year — a trophy that comes 26 years after his father, Basketball Hall of Famer Gary Payton, won the NBA’s defensive player of the year award.
Payton II played for Toronto-affiliated Raptors 905 in the G League bubble this winter, averaging a league-best 2.54 steals per game to go along with 10.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists. Raptors 905 had the best regular-season record and was the top seed in the G League playoffs, where they fell in the semifinals.
Payton II also was the league’s steals champion in 2018-19, when he averaged 2.96 per game.