Cameron Payne Reportedly Re-Signs with Suns on 3-Year, $19M Contract in FA

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 2, 2021

Phoenix Suns guard Cameron Payne directs teammates during the first half against the Denver Nuggets in Game 3 of an NBA second-round playoff series Friday, June 11, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Cameron Payne will remain with the Phoenix Suns after the two sides agreed to a three-year deal worth $19 million, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

Initially a lottery pick in the 2015 NBA draft, Payne bounced around the league for a few years while struggling to find consistent playing time with the Thunder, Bulls and Cavaliers.

The point guard spent part of the 2019-20 season in China and the G League before joining the Suns during the NBA restart amid the COVID-19 pandemic. His play in the bubble was enough to earn a regular role in 2020-21, and he took advantage with quality production throughout the year.

Payne finished last season with averages of 8.4 points and 3.6 assists per game, mostly off the bench in 60 appearances. He also hit 44 percent of three-point attempts to rank 10th in the NBA among qualified players.

The 26-year-old was a reliable backup for Chris Paul and a valuable contributor for a team that earned the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.

Payne continued his breakout in the playoffs during the Suns' run to the NBA Finals, especially turning heads when Paul missed two games because of the NBA's health and safety protocols. Payne started two games in the Western Conference Finals, totaling 29 points, nine assists, two steals and two blocks in a Game 2 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

The production showed he can be a difference-maker with more opportunities, although he decided to remain in Phoenix and likely stay a key player off the bench.

The new contract will give the guard a big upgrade in salary while keeping him on a contender going forward. It also provides the Suns with some continuity in the rotation as they look to compete for a championship in 2021-22.