NBA trade deadline 2018: Magic send Elfrid Payton to Suns for draft pick, report says
Elfrid Payton will soon be a restricted free agent and the Magic don't want to pay him
Elfrid Payton and the Magic have had yet another disappointing season. Orlando started off strong, going 8-4, but the season quickly took a downward spiral and it's became evident that the core the previous front office had put together wasn't going to work. There have been some trade rumors leading up to the NBA trade deadline, but a deal has finally been struck before Thursday's buzzer.
Marking the first major change of the new front office, and initiating the beginning of a likely rebuild, Payton has been traded to the Suns for a second-round draft pick, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Payton just never developed into what Orlando wanted him to become. He's a far better offensive player than he's given credit for, but the defense never came around. He's been one of Orlando's worst defenders this season, and considering he's a restricted free agent this summer, the Magic probably didn't want to pay him.
The Suns have been searching for a point guard, and a second-round pick is well worth a post trade deadline flyer. If he pans out they can have him set a market in restricted free agency and match it. If not, they can let Payton walk and move on to the next option. It's a worthy risk for Phoenix.
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