Former Suns’ players’ comments may suggest a return in the future

Nov 9, 2022; Phoenix Suns guard Cameron Payne (15) rMandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 9, 2022; Phoenix Suns guard Cameron Payne (15) rMandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports /

The Phoenix Suns let go of one of their fan-favorite players this offseason. They didn’t let him go; they traded him to another Western Conference foe, the San Antonio Spurs.

In return for trading veteran guard Cameron Payne, the Suns got a protected 2024 second-round pick. The Spurs got a 2025 second-round pick (via New Orleans) and cash considerations.

Fans miss him already, and it probably doesn’t help that Payne could be the perfect fit for the bench unit the Suns have in place at the moment. They need a guy who can handle the ball, be unselfish, create for others, and bring energy off the bench is what they need.

Payne does all of those things well. But, he cannot return anytime soon to the team.

Payne recently got waived by the Spurs and can now sign with any team he wants. He is ineligible to sign with Phoenix. For the Suns to get him, Payne would have to sign with another team and get waived by that team before the Suns can offer him a contract. The Minnesota Timberwolves, though, are interested in signing Payne.

But what he recently said doesn’t mean he won’t be back in the near future. If anything, it kind of means he would want to come back when he is eligible.

“Man, I love Phoenix, bro; I miss Phoenix already,” Payne said on Instagram Live after being traded. “I wish I was in Phoenix still, but hey, it is where it is, man. They’re trying to win a chip, and I respect it. I feel like they could’ve won a chip with me, though, ’cause, like, I’m tough.”

Payne averaged nine points per game, 4.2 assists per game, and 2.6 rebounds per game in 20 minutes per game, and was the guy that often times gave Chris Paul or even Devin Booker a break. And, when he went into the game, you never really had to worry about him messing anything up.

When the time comes, Phoenix will welcome him with open arms.