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Happy Birthday, Cameron Payne

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The Suns guard is now 27.

2021 NBA Finals - Practice and Media Availability Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

Blow out the candles, Cameron Payne, as you are now 27!

The backup guard for the Phoenix Suns, who recently signed a 3-year, $19M deal to stay with the organization, had himself quite a 26th year on this planet.

Cameron Payne, drafted 14th overall in the 2015 NBA Draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder, was out of the league by age 25. He was playing across the Pacific in China and hoping for a chance to play stateside once again.

Just shy of his 26th birthday, he received a call that would change everything. The Phoenix Suns needed assistance for the Orlando Bubble and enlisted his services. Monty Williams, who had coached Payne as an assistant for the Thunder in 2015-2016, decided to give him a second chance. The Suns offered Payne a two-year deal to join them in the NBA bubble.

It’s been a hell of a year since that moment.

Payne played 60 regular season games for the Suns in 2020-21, averaging 8.4 points in 18 minutes. He upped those averages as he helped the Suns make the NBA Finals, posting 9.3 points during the NBA Playoffs.

He became an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year and it was rumored that he was offered $10M a year to play elsewhere. He opted to return to Phoenix, granting the team a hometown discount in doing so.

Cam Payne is a fan favorite and the heartbeat of the second unit. Hope you have a great day Mr. Payne!