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Elfrid Payton agrees to re-sign with Knicks

Elfrid Payton, RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, Knicks

NBA veteran point guard Elfrid Payton is re-signing with the New York Knicks, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Payton has agreed to a one-year, $5 million deal with the Knicks.

Elfrid Payton appeared in 45 games for the Knicks in 2019-20 before the season was suspended in March due to COVID-19. He averaged 10.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 7.2 assists a night while shooting 43.9 percent from the field, 20.3 percent from beyond the arc and 57.0 percent from the free-throw line.

Payton was the 10th overall pick of the 2014 draft. He has career NBA averages of 11.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 6.6 assists with the Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, New Orleans Pelicans and Knicks.

New York drafted Obi Toppin with the eighth overall pick in the 2020 draft. The team’s core is now made up of RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, Julius Randle, Kevin Knox, Dennis Smith Jr. and Toppin.

The Knicks haven’t made the playoffs or had a winning record since the 2012-13 season. Fans in the Big Apple, though, are hopeful that new president of basketball operations Leon Rose and head coach Tom Thibodeau can turn the franchise around.

Rose used to run CAA, while Thibodeau has coached the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves. He won the 2011 Coach of the Year Award with the Bulls and helped former Knicks point guard Derrick Rose win the MVP Award in the same season.