Suns trade Cam Payne to Spurs in package for future 2nd-rounder

Jul 17, 2023, 2:45 PM | Updated: 2:51 pm

Cam Payne, Phoenix Suns...

Cameron Payne #15 of the Phoenix Suns drives the ball past Tyrese Maxey #0 of the Philadelphia 76ers during the second half of the NBA game at Footprint Center on March 25, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns traded sparkplug backup point guard Cam Payne in a package that included a second-round pick and cash to the San Antonio Spurs for a future second-rounder, the team made official on Monday.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania first reported the deal on Sunday.

The move opened a roster spot which the team filled right away with the reported signing of former Orlando Magic big man Bol Bol to a one-year deal.

The Suns also acquired three future second-round picks from Orlando for a 2026 first-round picks swap.

The 28-year-old Payne, nicknamed the Haboob, enters a contract year after his $6.5 million deal became fully guaranteed at the end of June.

Phoenix fully guaranteed Payne’s contract by retaining him through the end of June, giving the team guaranteed guard depth before hitting free agency that now has been flipped into future assets to move in trades or retain to build quality, developmental depth.

Payne’s backup role was also under threat with the acquisition of defense-first point guard Jordan Goodwin, who came to Phoenix in the Bradley Beal trade.

In 2020-21, Payne had his most efficient season, shooting 48% overall and 44% from three. Those were well above his 42% career shooting accuracy and 36% mark from deep. During that postseason, Payne started two games and played a key part in Phoenix’s run to the NBA Finals by holding down the point guard spot as Chris Paul suffered through COVID-19, a shoulder injury and a wrist injury.

The highlight performance of his Suns career ended up as a cliff note of a Game 2 win over the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference Finals.

Payne scored 29 points to go with nine assists, two steals and two blocks before the aptly named Valley-Oop: Deandre Ayton punched home a lob dunk off an inbounds play in the final second to pull off a 104-103 win that pushed the Suns’ series lead to 2-0.

The 28-year-old has missed at least 24 games in each of the two years due to injuries.

With that, he struggled with consistency as his shooting efficiency ticked down, while his turnover rate ticked up along with a bump in usage in relief of an aging Paul.

Payne averaged 10.3 points, 4.5 assists and 2.2 rebounds over 48 games, shooting 42% from the field and 37% from three last season.


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