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Elfrid Payton’s dad thinks his son can start alongside Dennis Smith Jr. with the Knicks

Elfrid Payton, Dennis Smith Jr., Knicks

Elfrid Payton will be facing stiff competition at the guard position as he starts a new chapter of his career with the New York Knicks. However, his father strongly believes that his son can start for the Knickerbockers.

The older Payton told Marc Berman of the New York Post he is hoping that his son will get a chance to start. He is convinced that the 25-year-old guard can co-exist with rising star guard Dennis Smith Jr.

“He’s got leadership to run a team,” Elfrid Payton Sr. said of his son. “Making the right pass, putting people in the right position. He has a talent for finding people and getting the ball where they like it. He’s a true, real point guard. In today’s game it’s interchangeable. Absolutely they can play together.”

Payton spent the past season with the New Orleans Pelicans, where he was limited to 42 games due to injuries. He started in all 42 contests, averaging 10.6 points on top of 5.2 rebounds and 7.6 assists in 29.8 minutes.

Despite his strong year last season, however, he became a dispensable asset in New Orleans. The Pelicans opted not to sign him after acquiring projected starting point guard Lonzo Ball as part of the deal that sent superstar Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers.