New Orleans native, and current Phoenix Sun, Elfrid Payton, has agreed to a one-year deal with the Pelicans.
The news dropped on Monday, July 2 that Elfrid Payton will become a Pelican to play in New Orleans, his hometown. According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, this deal will be worth $2.7 million for one year in New Orleans. However, Payton will not be able to sign until the end of the July moratorium on Friday.
Elfrid Payton averaged 12.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 6.2 assists with the Phoenix Suns. The point guard was drafted in 2014 by the Orlando Magic, going No. 10 overall and played with them his whole career before getting traded to Phoenix in February, 2018. He is definitely an underrated and under appreciated point guard throughout his career, and the Pelicans got a great player who will most likely come off the bench.
The biggest questions around this signing are Payton’s shooting touch and how this will effect the Pelicans’ pursuit of Rajon Rondo. It was assumed that Rondo was coming back but the overlap with Payton’s skill set may mean that the Pelicans have decided to go in a different direction. Payton and Jrue Holiday could make for a great physical, defensive backcourt but Payton’s 3-point shooting will need to continue to develop for him to maximize his value to the Pelicans.
Payton definitely will go down as the greatest of all-time when it comes to his hairstyle. Although, sadly, he decided it was time to get rid of the hairstyle and posted a picture on his Instagram story with his newly cut hair back in May.
The Pelicans now have a great, solid point guard coming off the bench with the new addition of Elfrid Payton for the 2018-19 NBA season. This year’s free agency has been wild, and it’s only on day two.