Cameron Payne won’t take the court with the San Antonio Spurs this fall after all.
Payne averaged 10.3 points, 4.5 assists and 2.2 rebounds last season in Phoenix, his fourth with the Suns. He was then dealt to the Spurs in July along with a second-round draft pick and cash. In exchange, the Suns received a future second-round pick.
The deal for Phoenix was the latest the franchise made this summer. The Suns sent Chris Paul and Landry Shamet to the Washington Wizards, though Paul eventually landed with the Golden State Warriors, in exchange for Bradley Beal. The Suns also acquired Bol Bol from the Orlando Magic.
Payne is set to enter his ninth season in the league this fall, and he could have been a solid veteran presence for the Spurs and Victor Wembanyama — whom the team selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft earlier this summer. While Wembanyama is one of the most highly anticipated players in league history, it’s unclear how good the Spurs will be this season with him on board. They went just 22-60 last season and haven’t been to the playoffs since 2019.
The Spurs now have 17 players on guaranteed contracts and will need to waive two more by the start of the season. Payne had a $6.5 million expiring contract.
It’s unclear where Payne will end up, though he’s ineligible to sign with the Suns right away. He’s sure to bring plenty of value wherever he does land, especially if that team is in a position to make a meaningful run this season.