Pacific Notes: Payton, Papagiannis, Green, Suns

Elfrid Payton‘s stint with the Magic ended on Thursday and by Saturday, he was putting up a solid performance in his Suns debut. The former lottery pick posted 19 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds in the Suns’ 123-113 loss to the Nuggets. Payton’s performance drew rave reviews from his teammates and coaches,’s Cody Cunningham writes.

“I thought he was good,” Suns head coach Jay Triano said. “It was different, the pace of play was better, getting the ball up and down the court, getting into the lane when he needed to, and making passes. He made the guys on the floor with him better.”

Payton, 23, has been viewed a disappointment through his first four NBA seasons after being the 10th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. However, given his age and upside, Payton drew interest from several teams prior to the deadline.

Check out other Pacific Division notes:

  • The agent of now-former Kings center Georgios PapagiannisMarios Olympios, was critical of the team’s decision to waive the 20-year-old, Aris Barkas of Euro Hoops writes. “He (Papagiannis) never got a chance by the Kings,” Olympios said on the Greek radio station Sport FM, Barkas writes. “He had a double-double every time he played in the G-League. He had to travel for two and a half hour everytime he was assigned to Reno and still he performed. There are many details that prove that he never got a real chance”.
  • Warriors forward Draymond Green was fined $50,000 for directing inappropriate and offensive language toward a game official, the NBA announced on its website. The incident occurred during the Warriors’ loss to the Thunder this past Tuesday.
  • The Suns received $1.5MM back in the buyout of new Celtics center Greg Monroe, tweets salary cap expert Albert Nahmad.
  • After a blockbuster trade with the Cavaliers on Thursday, the Lakers freed up a ton of cap space that could be used to lure two premiere free agents to Los Angeles this summer. Mark Heisler of the Orange County Register writes that the organization’s moves have put it in position to be relevant again.
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11 thoughts on “Pacific Notes: Payton, Papagiannis, Green, Suns

  1. Connorsoxfan

    Julius Randle is probably going to be a UFA now and he should be an attractive pickup for rebuilding teams. Young talent that isn’t restricted doesn’t come around often and if the price is reasonable a bunch of teams should be in on him.

    • hiflew

      I think Randle goes to Dallas and eventually blossoms into their new franchise player after Dirk.

      • Connorsoxfan

        Right but he won’t get hit with a QO if LA chases 2 Max FA’s so at that point he would become unrestricted.

  2. hiflew

    I don’t think Payton has been so much a disappointment as he was locked on several bad Magic teams. He has averaged 12 points, 6 assists, and 4 boards a game. That’s not All Star PG level, but it is a solid NBA starter. On a better team, which Phoenix may or may not be, his numbers should go up.

    • x%sure

      He’s a fine player; Orlando and NY blew it. But he is a western-style player, best in a wide-open game.

  3. Greg

    Randle will be unrestricted if the Lakers renounce him, which they would need to do to remove his cap hold and sign two Max FA’s.

  4. Jedi Master

    It’s funny how everyone assumes that this time will be different for the lakers. Last time they has max space they ended up with deng and Mozgov. I know they have a better collection of talent but people assume because they have max space free agents are gonna want to go there. Well see what happens but everyone acting like it’s a 100% guarantee there gonna get 2 max players.

    • yoyo137

      They ended up with Mozgov because Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss were spiteful and terrible at their jobs on the way out. They are the reason Deng and Mozgov got that money, not Rob Pelinka or Magic Johnson. They’re not going to make that big of a mistake again, at least not two.


    With their Ball draft choice their talent choices are concerning about who they give the max contracts to. As for getting FA to go to LA and play for the Lakers, it’s the Lakers not the Clippers. In their successful history they don’t seem to have much trouble luring guys to join the Lakers.

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