Phoenix Suns Renounce Rights To Elfrid Payton
Former Louisiana Ragin' Cajun basketball standout Elfrid Payton will become a free agent soon.
The Phoenix Suns renounced their rights to Payton, as well as Alex Len on Monday, making them unrestricted free agents, beginning on July 1.
The moves were expected, as it puts the Suns approximately $10-$15 million under the cap.
After playing three-plus seasons for the Orlando Magic, before being traded to the Phoenix Suns in February, Payton was a restricted free agent, which meant he could have signed an offer sheet with any team, but the Suns could have retained him by matching the terms of that offer.
It would have come at a price for the Suns however; one they weren't willing to pay.
A native of Gretna, Louisiana, Payton played three years for the Cajuns, from the 2011-2012 season through the 2013-2014 campaign.
In his junior season (2013-2014) Payton emerged as one of the top defensive players in college basketball, while also averaging 19.2 points, 5.9 assists, 6.0 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game, helping lead Louisiana to the NCAA Tournament.
In that season, Payton was named first team All-Sun Belt, the conference Defensive Player of the Year, and the National Defensive Player of the Year by winning the Lefty Driesell Award.
Following his junior season, Payton declared for the NBA Draft, and was selected by the Orlando Magic with the 10th-overall pick.
An NBA All-Rookie selection in 2015, Payton played three-plus season with the Magic, averaging 11.1 points, to go along with 4.2 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 1.4 steals a contest.
Traded to Phoenix for a second-round pick in February, the 6-foot-4, 185-pound Payton played in 19 games, averaging 11.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 6.2 assists.
Payton can still re-sign with the Suns, or any other team, beginning on Sunday.
He'll certainly be in the NBA next year; maybe as a starter, but if not, then absolutely as a reserve.
We wish him the best of luck next season, wherever he is playing.