Jul. 06, 2018
Elfrid Payton Signs With the New Orleans Pelicans
Unrestricted free agent point guard Elfrid Payton is returning to his home state of Louisiana and had agreed to a one-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday. According to ESPN's Zach Lowe, the deal fits under the Pels' bi-annual exception at a reported $2.7 million.
Over the course of his four-year career, Payton has shown flashes of potential but has been inconsistent overall. As of early February, he had been in the midst of a career year with the Orlando Magic with averages of 13.0 points and 6.4 assists per game on 52 percent shooting from the field and 37.3 percent from three-point range, before the team ultimately decided they didn't want to pay Payton heading into free agency and dealt him to Phoenix for a second round draft pick at this year's deadline.
Payton's shooting percentages took a dramatic dip upon arriving in Phoenix, and the Suns went 1-18 in 19 games with him as a starter.
The Pelicans are taking a low-cost gamble on Payton, but nevertheless it's good to see New Orleans taking a different approach (along with the Julius Randle signing) instead of immediately throwing careless money at Rajon Rondo and DeMarcus Cousins.