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Former Suns’ Guard Signs with Bucks

© Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Another former Sun will serve as a backup point guard in Milwaukee.

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Cameron Payne will be backing up new Bucks acquisition Damian Lillard after signing a one-year deal with the team today.

Before this year, former Suns’ guard Jevon Carter served a backup role to Jrue Holiday in Milwaukee the past 1.5 seasons. Carter signed with the Bulls this offseason.

The Suns traded Payne to the Spurs back in July, saving a projected $26.4 million in luxury tax.

“I wish I was in Phoenix still,” Payne said on an Instagram live a few weeks after the trade. “It is what it is man, they trying to win the chip and I respect it. I feel like they could’ve won the chip with me though.”

The Spurs released Payne on Sept. 11 and gave him a chance to sign with a contender. He now lands with the team that is favored to win the Finals, and who defeated his Suns team in the championship in 2021.

Payne was best known for his smile and infectious energy that he brought to the Valley. The Suns took a chance on him in the bubble in 2020, and he helped them go undefeated in Orlando. It turned into three more very productive seasons in the Valley.

Perhaps Payne’s best performance with Phoenix came in the Suns’  last game against the Nuggets. He had a team-leading 31 points while shooting 7-of-8 from deep in a very disappointing 125-100 elimination loss for the Suns.

He also filled in crucial moments for Chris Paul several times, most notably in the first two games of the 2021 Western Conference Finals. Payne had 29 points and nine assists in Game 2 of this series and helped the Suns win both of these matchups. The Suns made it to their first Finals since 1993 after winning this series.

In total, Payne played 174 regular season games and 42 playoff games for the Suns. He averaged 9.8 points and 4.2 assists in just over 20 minutes per game in the regular season.

Could the Suns face off against Payne and the Bucks in the Finals this season?

Cameron Payne Shared His Thoughts on Suns Trade During His Instagram Live

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Brendan Mau is a senior writer covering the Phoenix Suns and more for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on X via @Brendan_Mau

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