PHOENIX – The Phoenix Suns have completed a trade to acquire point guard Elfrid Payton from the Orlando Magic in exchange for a 2018 second-round pick via Memphis.
“We are excited to add a player of Elfrid’s caliber to our young core,” said Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough. “Elfrid is an athletic point guard who has good size, length and a feel for the game. We think he’ll be a great fit with our team and we look forward to seeing him in a Suns uniform.”
In his fourth NBA season, Payton is averaging a career-high 13.0 points shooting career bests of 52.0 percent from the field (23rd in the NBA) and 37.3 percent from three-point range. In addition, he is averaging 6.3 assists (14th in the NBA), 4.0 rebounds and 1.45 steals (24th in the NBA) in 44 games. Payton is one of just three players in the NBA this season averaging at least six assists while shooting over 50 percent from the field along with LeBron James and Ben Simmons, and also joins James and Simmons as the only three players to rank in the top 25 in assists, steals and field goal percentage.
Payton holds career averages of 11.1 points, 6.4 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.36 steals in 281 games, starting 234. The Magic’s all-time franchise leader with eight career triple-doubles, he scored a career-high 30 points earlier this season on December 23 at Washington. Currently exceeding six assists per game for the fourth straight season, Payton is the first NBA player since Chris Paul from 2005-2009 to average at least six assists in each of his first four NBA seasons.
The 6-4, 185-pound floor general was originally the 10th overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers before being traded to the Magic on draft night. Named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2015, Payton twice participated in the Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star Weekend.
A native of Gretna, Louisiana, Payton starred collegiately at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for three seasons from 2011-2014. He won the 2013-14 Lefty Driesell Award given annually to the nation’s top defensive player and represented USA Basketball at the 2013 FIBA Under-19 World Championship in Czech Republic, starting all nine games to help lead the U.S. to a 9-0, gold-medal finish.
The second-round pick heading to Orlando was originally secured by the Suns along with guard Troy Danielsin a deal with the Grizzlies on September 22, 2017. The pick to be conveyed will be the second most favorable selection of Memphis, Charlotte or Miami’s 2018 second-round picks.
Payton will wear uniform No. 2.