Phoenix Suns: 2 Players That Will Win Awards Next Year

Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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Phoenix Suns, Cameron Payne
Phoenix Suns, Cameron Payne (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns: Cameron Payne will win the Sixth Man of the Year Award

You simply cannot ask for a better guy to have whispering in a young player’s ear than Chris Paul. Cameron Payne knew that when he agreed to rejoin the Suns this summer, taking full advantage and positioning himself well to build on the fantastic season which he enjoyed last year.

During the 2020-21 season, Payne averaged 8.4 points, 3.6 assists, and 2.4 rebounds per game while shooting an incredible 44.0 percent from beyond the arc. This improved shooting touch alongside his maintained quickness off the dribble made him an incredibly difficult scoring threat to lock up no matter who drew him as an assignment.

Even after spending some time playing overseas, this all helped Payne resurrect his career. He also came through with a 29-point, nine assist performance during the Western Conference Finals, fully establishing himself as a one of the league’s most coveted spark plug talents.

But again with Paul guiding him, and having finally found some comfort with the Suns organization, Payne should continue to grow next year, eventually blossoming into the game’s best player off the bench.

Given his status as an NBA legend, Paul will remain Phoenix’s starting point guard no matter how well Payne plays. That might not sound like the most exciting narrative, but it sets the perfect stage for Payne to play incredibly well, but still remain eligible for the SMOTY award.