Phoenix Suns: 3 Free Agents Who Would be Better Fits than Elfrid Payton

Phoenix Suns, Elfrid Payton (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Elfrid Payton (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Elfrid Payton is not a bad signing for the Phoenix Suns. However, three other free agent options from this past summer would have fit far more adequately with the team. The Suns enter the 2021-22 season under “win now” mode, and they need the most effective players possible on board to help them achieve their ultimate goal.

If it were a few years back and Payton came to the Suns via the draft, glimmering with promise and talent, then the feelings surrounding him might be different. But unfortunately, the former lottery pick has struggled to live up to his hype since leaving the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

A few years after his selection by the Orlando Magic, Payton bounced around the league like a loose ball at shoot around, even playing with Phoenix for 19 games during the 2017-18 season. Back then, he provided little impact. The Suns let him walk after that year, doing so without much questioning from the fans.

Things might go differently this time around. However, the odds still stand stacked against Payton. Working behind Chris Paul and Cameron Payne, he likely plays only “garbage time” minutes.

But after seeing the Suns jump from a lottery-bound team to a powerhouse during just one season, I fully trust James Jones as Phoenix’s general manager. Every move he makes must have a purpose.

With that, it stands to reason that Payton might turn out as a solid addition after all. But regardless, we cannot avoid partially critiquing the move, and point out these “ones that got away.”