New York waived Payton on Thursday and paid a $1MM partial guarantee on his previous contract rather than giving him the full amount of $8MM. Payton will receive $5MM for one season on his new pact, per Wojnarowski.
Given the reported price of Payton’s new deal, it’s possible the Knicks will look to fit him into their room exception ($4.77MM). In that scenario, the team would still have approximately $29MM in cap room to use, without Payton cutting into it. If he gets any amount over $4.77MM, he’ll have to be re-signed using some of that cap space.
Payton got the most use of New York’s point guard options last season, starting 36 of the 45 games he played. He averaged 10.0 points and 7.2 assists per game, but shot just 43.9% from the field and 20.3% from three-point range.
If they don’t make any more moves at the position, the Knicks will have the same three players at point guard as they did a year ago, with Payton battling Frank Ntilikina and Dennis Smith Jr. for playing time, and it will be up to new coach Tom Thibodeau to sort them out.