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When you are taken inside the Top-10 of the NBA Draft, expectations cannot be higher from the first second you touch the basketball in an actual, meaningful game.

Elfrid Payton proved early on that he could be an athletic, crafty point guard in this league, but he could never find a solidified role through his first few years in the league.

Spending the first three years of his career with the Orlando Magic, Payton was then dealt to the Phoenix Suns in his fourth season in the league during the 2017-18 season.

Following his time with the Suns, Payton played with the New Orleans Pelicans, then spent two seasons with the New York Knicks and recently went back to the Suns to play with them during the 2021-22 season.

Now, Elfrid Payton finds himself as an unrestricted free agent, still looking for a chance to prove his worth in this league.

He was a starter earlier in his career when he was first drafted by the Magic, then Payton became a key bench talent for Orlando and then after being traded to the Suns, the former Top-10 pick slowly started to move further down his team’s depth charts.

Dealing with ankle and hamstring injuries throughout his career, Elfrid Payton has had a little bit of trouble staying on the floor, but when he is healthy, Payton has made a positive impact.

In eight total NBA seasons, playing in a total of 500 regular season games, Payton has averaged 10.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, 5.7 assists and he has shot 44.7% from the floor. His career 28.7 three-point shooting percentage is slightly concerning, but Payton’s ability to make plays for others, especially as a backup point guard, is what makes him an intriguing option for a team’s final roster spot.

It will be interesting to see if Elfrid Payton can work his way onto a roster ahead of the start of training camp, especially after his minimal role with the Suns during the 2021-22 season.