Ex-Suns Guard Cam Payne Makes Bold Statement Following Trade

cam payne chris paul

Getty Cam Payne talking with Chris Paul

After the Phoenix Suns made the blockbuster trade to land three-time All-Star shooting guard Bradley Beal in June, many questions arose about their roster, particularly with the starting point guard position. Many believed it would be reserve guard Cameron Payne.

But in a shocking turn of events, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Beal would be the Suns’ point guard on opening night, and the franchise would be trading Payne to the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for a second-round draft pick and also sent cash to the Spurs for a future second-round pick. Additionally, Charania reported Phoenix also received three second-round draft picks from the Orlando Magic in a pick swap. On August 10, Payne broke his silence about the blockbuster trade.

“I miss Phoenix already… They trying to win the chip and I respect it. I feel like they could have won a chip with me though,” Payne said on Instagram Live via Clutch Points.

Cam Payne Has Opportunity to Shine With Spurs

Payne appeared in just 48 games last year after suffering a foot injury in December. He averaged just over 20 minutes per contest. But in limited minutes, he was productive. He averaged 10.3 points, 4.5 assists, and 2.2 rebounds per game. Payne also played a key role in the Suns’ 2021 NBA Finals run. He averaged 9.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 3.2 assists in 19.0 minutes per game in the 2021 playoffs. So, it is not far-fetched for the former Suns guard to believe he could have played an integral role in them winning the title.

But the Suns are taking an unorthodox approach heading into the 2023-24 NBA season. They have added star power which has made them guard-heavy. With Beal, Booker, and Durant all overseeing the guard duties, Payne would likely have been even more underutilized than he was last season.

Now, in a new situation in San Antonio, Payne could have more room to develop into a legit starting guard. Getting the opportunity to play along with this year’s number one overall NBA Draft pick, Victor Wembanyama, and a crop of young talented guards such as Keldon Johnson, Tre Jones, and Devin Vassell, Payne could have a breakout season in 2024.

Suns to Add 2 Legends to Ring of Honor

On August 9, the Suns announced they would be honoring two of their legends this season. Both Shawn Marion and Amar’e Stoudemire will be inducted into the Suns’ Ring of Honor in 2023-24. New Suns owner Mat Ishbia lauded the two Suns’ legends, noting their importance to the franchise’s history.

“Shawn and Amar’e are two of the very best to ever wear a Phoenix Suns uniform. Shawn changed the game with his elite versatility and Amar’e was one of the most electrifying players the league has ever seen. Shawn and Amar’e helped define the Suns and inspired generations of fans, and our Suns family is incomplete without them in the Ring of Honor,” Ishbia said in a statement.

“As we embark on the new era of Suns basketball it is a priority that we remain connected to our storied history. We are excited to celebrate Shawn and Amar’e and properly recognize their incredible contributions and achievements.”

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