Phoenix traded Cameron Payne to San Antonio this summer in a salary dump move, but what the Spurs wanted out of that was the second-round pick and $5.6 million in cash they received.
That led to the news the Spurs are waiving Payne, which will make him a free agent, a story broken by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN and confirmed by San Antonio. Payne was under contract for $6.5 million this season and will get that payday.
The Spurs are expected to lean into the young Tre Jones at the point, hoping he can grow and develop with Victor Wembanyama, plus they have several other young guards on the roster who deserve minutes. Allowing Payne to play somewhere he wants to be and is needed makes sense.
Payne is a reliable backup point guard entering his ninth season. He averaged 10.3 points and 4.5 assists a game in about 20 minutes a night for the Suns last season when healthy. Go back a couple of seasons and Payne was the kind of backup point guard every team needs, making plays and being a plus defender, and he showed in a 31-point outburst against the Nuggets in the playoffs he is still capable of a big night.
Payne likely will get to choose from several teams interested in his services next season.
The Spurs still have 17 guaranteed contracts on the books for this season and will have to cut or trade a couple of players before the start of the season.