Suns acquire PG Elfrid Payton from Magic for second-round pick
The Phoenix Suns have acquired point guard Elfrid Payton from the Orlando Magic in exchange for a 2018 second-round pick, 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station John Gambadoro confirmed Thursday.
The second-round pick was from the Troy Daniels trade with the Memphis Grizzlies this past summer, according to Gambadoro. It is the second most favorable between Memphis (18-36), Charlotte (23-30) and Miami (29-26).
Payton, in his fourth NBA season, is averaging 13.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game. He is shooting 52 percent from the field and 37 percent from three-point range.
The 23-year-old was the 10th overall pick in 2014 and will become a restricted free agent this summer. He is making $3.3 million and will enter free agency with a qualifying offer worth $4.5 million.
It would be expected that the 6-foot-4 point guard would pursue a salary pushing eight figures in free agency. Drafted out of Louisiana Lafayette as a defensive-minded player, Payton’s stock has improved thanks to improved shooting stroke this season, as he previously has never shot better than 33 percent from deep.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was first to report the deal.
Phoenix general manager Ryan McDonough was candid about the Suns putting a priority on acquiring a point guard at the trade deadline and beyond.
After trading a disgruntled Eric Bledsoe to the Milwaukee Bucks this season, Phoenix has used backup Tyler Ulis, departed Mike James, the injured Isaiah Canaan and the G League-recalled Josh Gray at point guard.
Shooting guard Devin Booker has also recently taken on point guard duties before injuries kept him out of the last two games before the trade deadline.
In a statement released Thursday, McDonough expressed his excitement for the addition of to the Suns’ young core.
“We are excited to add a player of Elfrid’s caliber to our young core,” McDonough said. “Elfrid is an athletic point guard who has good size, length and a feel for the game. We think he’ll be a great fit with our team and we look forward to seeing him in a Suns uniform.”
Elfrid will wear the No. 2 uniform for Phoenix.
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