Breaking: Knicks Re-Sign PG Elfrid Payton

The second move of Knicks‘ free agency sees the team bringing back Elfrid Payton. The team hasn’t signed a point guard yet, all signs pointing towards Payton being the starter.

Originally, New York waived Payton on Thursday. After the team declined his option of $8 million, they signed him to a contract worth $5 million.

Last season, Elfrid Payton became the Knicks’ most consistent starting point guard. In 45 games, Payton averaged 10 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 7.2 assists per game in 27.7 minutes. He also averaged 1.6 steals.

Payton shot 40% from the field and 20.3% from beyond the arc. If no other moves are made, the same three point guards from last season will be in the rotation. Payton will battle with Frank Ntilikina and Dennis Smith Jr. for the starting point guard position.

Smith Jr. had a down year last season and will hope to progress, given the chance. Ntilikina looks to work on his offensive aggressiveness.

The Payton signing came after the Knicks missed out on Fred VanVleet and veteran D.J. Augustin.

Even though his assist numbers were high in 2019, Payton has been criticized for not feeding the ball to R.J. Barrett enough, often feeding it to Julius Randle. Payton has also been criticized for his horrific three-point shooting, hitting 20% of his threes.

 

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