24-year-old point guard Elfrid Payton has agreed to a one-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans. In the latter part of the 2017-18 season, Payton got traded to the Phoenix Suns from his original team, the Orlando Magic.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN broke the news on Sunday night:
Payton will sign a one-year deal with Pelicans, a return to his hometown. https://t.co/2UWOKSCLBK
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 2, 2018
Report: Elfrid Payton Agrees to Contract with New Orleans Pelicans
Payton’s contract will take him through the end of the 2018-19 season.
Payton was drafted by the Magic with the 10th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. In his rookie season he averaged 9 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals a game. Some dubbed him as the possible point guard of the future for Orlando at the time.
He steadily improved through the years and was averaging a career-high 13 PPG last season before he got traded to the Suns for a second round pick in this year’s draft. Early on in his time with the Suns, he put up two triple-doubles in his first nine games.
While Payton has shown potential as a point guard, especially with his passing and rebounding abilities, many still question his shooting touch. Throughout his career, he is shooting 45% from the field, but only 30% from deep and 62% from the foul line. This affects his long-term viability as a starting point guard for any lineup. That being said, he can still be an effective sixth man or role player off the bench. He is definitely a capable ball-handler and point guard. The Pelicans will definitely expect this from him, giving him this one-year deal.