FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the NBA G League Affiliate of the Indiana Pacers, have acquired the player rights to Elfrid Payton.
Payton last played for the Phoenix Suns during the 2021-22 NBA season, where he appeared in 50 games.
Payton played for nine seasons in the NBA with stops in Orlando, Phoenix, New Orleans and New York after being drafted 10th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2014 NBA Draft. He was traded by the 76ers before he made his NBA debut. He went on to average 8.9 points and 6.5 assists per game as a rookie in Orlando and was named All-Rookie First Team by the NBA. Over the course of his career, Payton averaged 10.1 points, 5.7 assists and four rebounds per game while playing 500 NBA games; 395 of which he was a starter.
Before turning pro, Payton was a two-time First Team All-Sun Belt player for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. While with Louisiana, Payton averaged a career best 19.2 points per game during his junior season, adding 2.3 steals per game and being named the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year. He was also honored with the Lefty Driesell Award as the National Defensive Player of the Year for college basketball. After leading the Ragin’ Cajuns to the NCAA Tournament, Payton declared for the NBA Draft, forgoing his senior season.
Payton will wear number 2 with the Mad Ants.
In a related move, the Mad Ants have waived guard Devontae Shuler.
In addition, the injury to forward Bennie Boatwright has been deemed season ending, clearing a roster spot for Payton.