PHOENIX SUNS

Former Phoenix Suns guard Cam Payne waived by Spurs, per report

Sep 11, 2023, 11:44 AM

Cameron Payne #15 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball during Game Four of the NBA Western Conferen...

Cameron Payne #15 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball during Game Four of the NBA Western Conference Semifinals at Footprint Center on May 07, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Nuggets 129-124. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Former Phoenix Suns guard Cam Payne was waived by the San Antonio Spurs on Monday, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Phoenix traded Payne to the Spurs in mid-July, along with a 2025 second-round pick and nearly $6 million in cash. The move cut $26.4 million off the Suns’ projected tax bill, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, and also a generated a $6.5 million trade exception.

Wojnarowski notes the reasoning behind the move.

The Spurs have several young guards they’re planning to build around on the roster, and Payne will ultimately make more sense for a contending team’s roster.

San Antonio’s roster heading into training camp in a few weeks was overloaded on guaranteed contracts, with the Spurs still needing to cut two more players after Payne to trim down to the maximum 15, per Marks.

Payne originally joined the Suns in the bubble for the end of the 2019-20 season before spending three more years in Phoenix. His play was up and down, as the 29-year-old was one of the best reserve guards in basketball for the 2020-21 campaign before his play regressed the last two seasons. Payne was in the final year of a three-year extension the Suns signed him to in 2021.

While Payne’s inconsistencies will keep him from getting jotted down as a No. 2 point guard on a NBA depth chart heading into next season, his energy, pace of play and playmaking would all be assets to a team.

Without Payne, Phoenix goes into next season without a traditional point guard. Bradley Beal and Devin Booker will share those duties of running the offense, while defensive stalwart Jordan Goodwin and veteran scoring guard Eric Gordon are expected to make up the rest of the guard rotation off the bench. Two-way guard Saben Lee is also on the roster and played well during injury-riddled segments last season after originally joining the team on a 10-day contract.

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