The Knicks are seeking a bigger name point guard and have been linked to the Pelicans’ Lonzo Ball, Lakers’ Dennis Schroder, Raptors’ Kyle Lowry and several others. But Payne filled in admirably for Chris Paul in the Suns’ run to the Finals, and may have earned a larger payday in the process.
Berman also noted that Paul has a player option worth about $44 million. Should Paul pick up the option, as expected, that could make it more difficult for the Suns to re-sign Payne, an unrestricted free agent.
Payne, 27, averaged 8.4 points and 3.6 assists in 60 regular-season games and was even better in the playoffs. That second part is why he is sure to draw plenty of interest in free agency, and while the Knicks are likely aiming higher, Payne would fill a need.