I’ve watched my fair share of Suns’ games throughout my lifetime. I’ve seen many surprises in the past year specifically. One of which being backup Point Guard Cameron Payne. When the Suns signed him before the bubble, I, like many, asked myself: “Why Payne?” “Isn’t he a scrub?”, “Bench Depth?”, and boy did he prove me wrong, and fast.
Cam was explosive during the Suns bubble run. Putting up a statline of 10.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 3 assists. He was a breath of fresh air and swung momentum plenty of times during those games. Hitting threes when the starters went out, especially back-to-back. We gave Cam a one-year extension in the offseason and proved that the bubble was no fluke.
Cameron Payne put up numbers that, at first glance, aren’t very eye-popping. With a respectable statline of 8.4ppg, 2.4rpg, and 3.6apg, along with some very clutch, energetic shots, to fuel the bench unit. However, Payne got exponentially better as the season went on, putting up 14 points per game in may, a worthy six-man of the 2nd seed in the Western Conference. His best games, 21 points and 6 boards and a win against the Blazers, and 24 points in a close loss against the defending champion Lakers, were both in that May. His excellence May perhaps continue.
In our game 2 loss against the Lakers. In a game where CP3 was hurt with a shoulder contusion. In a game that looked hopeless. Payne almost ignited the spark to bring this team back to an improbable win, with Chris Paulesque numbers of 19 points, 7 assists, and 2 blocks, as well as a 28 foot three to give us a slight lead. While his effort may have been in vain as we fell 109-102, I don’t have a feeling that the Murray St. guard isn’t done yet. I believe that he has a few more impossible games in front of him.
With his contact expiring this coming offseason, he may leave a place where many hold him dear. He should be a target to bring back, he clearly loved playing here and thrived doing so under Monty Williams. May I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors, bring them payne.