The Phoenix Suns may be struggling on the court itself, but the team pulled off what has to be described as a tremendous trade on Thursday. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Phoenix has acquired young guard Elfrid Payton for a mere second-round pick.
Orlando has traded Elfrid Payton to Phoenix for a second-round pick, league source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 8, 2018
Despite issues with consistency and on defense, Payton boasts a tremendous amount of upside. He’s averaging a carer-high 13.0 points to go with 6.3 assists while shooting at a stellar 52 percent mark from the field. Being able to acquire the 23-year-old former top-10 pick for a second-round pick is highway robbery.
Payton, who is set to become a restricted free agent, was unlikely to return to the Magic next season. Hence, the smallish return. He’ll now team up with Devin Booker in Phoenix over the short term. It gives the Suns a small window to see if the two can coexist prior to Payton hitting the open market this summer. It could also be an indication that the Suns are looking at Booker as more of an off-ball guard moving forward. There had been some suggestions out there that the team might attempt to run the offense through him like we see with James Harden in Houston. That could very well change with Payton on board.