Elfrid Payton Signs With the New Orleans Pelicans

By Todd Schmidt
Jul. 04, 2018

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.