Phoenix Suns trade deadline recap and impact on the Summer of 2018

PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 17: Elfrid Payton
PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 17: Elfrid Payton /

The 2018  NBA trade deadline came to a close, and while the Cavaliers were making their name heard, Suns fans everywhere sat in agony following a 48-point beat down the night before. That is until some surprising news broke…

The Phoenix Suns have acquired 23-year-old point guard Elfrid Payton in exchange for a second-round pick via the Memphis Grizzlies. The unique-haired, former tenth overall pick is averaging just about 13 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds per game this season, and is being called by many, a steal for the Suns.

The trade is low risk for Phoenix, but Payton’s potential could be very much in their favor.  Lacking a starting-caliber point guard, there is no doubt Payton will jump right into things, and give the Suns something to think about this summer.

Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns /

Phoenix Suns

Payton definitely fits the Suns’ scheme, as mentioned he’s only 23, with tons of potential.  While having shown improvements on his jump shot this season, the former Ragin’ Cajun has always been a pass first point guard. Perhaps this change of scenery could help him, and his presence in Phoenix could help Devin Booker and the rest of the Suns young core flourish.

If Payton excels on his new team the Suns can set their sights on a big man this offseason, whether it be via draft or the free agency period. Then again, maybe the Suns let Payton go and draft a point guard. Or maybe they draft the best overall player regardless of position and aim on signing a quality big in free agency. Nonetheless, we should expect General Manager Ryan McDonough to keep his word about being aggressive in free agency.

Maybe this attracts Aaron Gordon, a restricted free agent this summer and Payton’s teammate in Orlando since they were drafted together in 2014.  Clint Capela is another big (literally and figuratively) free agent that would suit the Suns nicely and with knowledge of Phoenix having a solid pass first point guard on the roster might help attract.

While the Suns’ draft position increases with every loss, the trade for Elfrid Payton does make the team better, and that may end up making things easier come summer time. McDonough said he wanted to speed up the timeline, and if all cylinders click under the new addition, the focus this summer will be on one less position. Look for the Suns to draft smart, and go hard in free agency.

Next: Ryan McDonough’s alternative’s when swinging for a star this summer

Let us all make room in Elfrid Payton’s hair and enjoy the ride ahead. The Sun may finally be setting on what has been a gloomy, playoff-less eight-year drought in Phoenix.

Next stop: Summer 2018.