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Cameron Payne Thanks Phoenix Suns Organization and Fans

© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Over two months since being traded away from Phoenix, fan-favorite Cameron Payne posted an emotional thank you to the Suns on social media.

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“Y’all gave me the opportunity to change my whole life around. I’ll be forever grateful for what y’all did for me the past few years,” Payne said on Instagram. “I met friends, brothers, teammates and fans! Thank y’all for believing! From my teammates giving me the name “Turbo” and 15, to the fans giving me the name Haboob! I regret nothing. I gave y’all everything and y’all gave it right back. Love, now on to new beginnings!”

The Suns traded Payne to the Spurs back in July, saving a projected $26.4 million in luxury tax. He recently signed with the Milwaukee Bucks to back up Damian Lillard.

“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.

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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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