Suns Won’t Re-Sign Elfrid Payton, Alex Len

The Suns don’t intend to re-sign either Elfrid Payton or Alex Len in free agency, reports Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic (via Twitter).

Payton is eligible for restricted free agency, but with no plans to re-sign him, the Suns won’t tender Payton a $4.75MM qualifying offer, clearing the way for him to reach unrestricted free agency. As for Len, renouncing the veteran center would clear his $7.96MM cap hold from the Suns’ books, creating additional cap flexibility for the team.

Without trading or releasing any players on guaranteed contracts for 2018/19, the Suns currently project to reach approximately $18MM in cap room. That space should give the team the opportunity to make a competitive offer to one standout free agent, or to make offers to a pair of mid-level type players.

Payton, the 10th overall pick in the 2014 draft, never developed into the sort impact player the Magic hoped for. He was traded to Phoenix in a mid-season deal in 2017/18, and posted 11.8 PPG, 6.2 APG, and 5.3 RPG in 19 starts for his new team. Payton’s inability to make outside shots (.298 career 3PT%) limits his appeal.

Len, meanwhile, was a restricted free agent a year ago and signed his one-year qualifying offer with the Suns, putting himself in line for unrestricted free agency this summer. The 25-year-old, who averaged 8.5 PPG and 7.5 RPG in 2017/18, has long been expected to leave Phoenix — he said back in March that he’d “probably” end up with another team, and was looking forward to choosing his NBA home for the first time in his career.

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12 thoughts on “Suns Won’t Re-Sign Elfrid Payton, Alex Len

  1. bdallen714

    Len would look good in either San Antonio or Boston. Would be a good fit for LA Clips if they decide to let Jordan go.

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    • KCelts

      I doubt Boston. Len would be probably backing up Horford and Baynes if Baynes comes back plus not to mention Robert Williams being in the mix now.

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      • Connorsoxfan

        Boston could use one more big man though. Horford is good, but he’s more of a 4, even though we’re flush with wings. He can start at the 5, but if minutes wise he spends some time at the 4, that would be good. I’d like to see Len get a shot in case Williams isn’t ready to produce this year and needs time to develop. Baynes and Theis are good, but I’d rather have another rotational big in case Williams isn’t ready.

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  2. bdallen714

    He would look great in San Antonio or Boston. Good fit for the LA Clips going young if Jordan ends up leaving as well. Maybe even the Wizards, after the Gortat trade, seeing he spent his college time at Maryland

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  3. hiflew

    I think Len ends up in either Dallas or New Orleans if they lose Boogie.

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    • Michael Chaney

      I don’t think New Orleans needs Len even without Boogie, in which case they’d just play AD and Mirotic. I could see Dallas as a fit though.

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    • bdallen714

      Only see him fit in Dallas if they don’t get Jordan like everyone thinks they will.

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  4. Like a lot of big men who haven’t developed much since being drafted, Len needs to go and hunt for real playing time in a meaningful role. If it’s out there. Where, and the contract terms, are secondary.

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  5. Luckylefty2

    Len is so underrated lol but the NBA is moving away from guys with that type of playing style.

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  6. AD won’t play the C, so if DMC goes, NOLA needs a C.
    I do like Payton, I think he is quite a decent player, maybe not good shooter, bad is good at many other things that he can contribute, i.e. last full season he had 4-5 TD’s for Orlando, not too bad, I think he needs to go to the right team, but no doubt he will end up somewhere, he is a good player.

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