NBA G-League

Raptors 905 guard Gary Payton II named 2020-21 G League Defensive Player of the Year

The Raptors 905 continue to set the standard for identifying and bringing in worthy talent in the NBA G League.

The league today announced that Gary Payton II, who was selected by the 905 in the 2020 G League Draft, has been named Defensive Player of the year for the 2020-21 season.

The 28-year-old Payton is the son of Hall of Famer Gary Payton, who was named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year for the 1995-96 season. This past season, the younger Payton led the NBA G League with 2.54 steals over 13 games to go along with averages of 10.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists.

Payton becomes the latest member of the Raptors 905 franchise to receive season-ending honours as the franchise has had two of the league's last four Most Valuable Players and three of the last five Defensive Players of the Year.

Raptors 905 honours, last five seasons
Season Player Honour(s)
2020-21 Gary Payton II Defensive Player of the Year
2018-19 Chris Boucher Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year
2017-18 Lorenzo Brown Most Valuable Player
2016-17 Edy Tavares Defensive Player of the Year

Payton, who went undrafted in 2016, has appeared in 61 NBA games over four seasons and made 17 starts with the Washington Wizards in the 2019-20 season. A 6-foot-3 combo guard, Payton's familiarity with the Raptors system makes him a candidate for a potential call-up in the near future.

This season, Toronto has signed G League big men Henry Ellenson and Donta Hall to 10-day contracts. Should there be a need for an addition to the guard rotation, Payton is a likely candidate for a call-up.

The Raptors 905 finished the shortened 2020-21 G League season with a league-leading 12-3 record. The team advanced to the semifinals of the single-elimination G League playoffs, where it would be eliminated by the Delaware Blue Coats.

Stick with NBA.com for updates on any potential call ups of standouts from the most recent G League season.

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