Payne, who was acquired from the Suns in mid-July, will not have the opportunity to catch on with a franchise with aspirations of contending next season. San Antonio isn’t in that position, and the Spurs have prioritized clearing up minutes for young guards such as Malaki Branham and Blake Wesley. Payne’s exit protects the fantasy potential of those two players, with Branham being the one better positioned to be of value to deep-league managers this season. It also protects the fantasy value of Tre Jones, who served as San Antonio’s starting point guard last season. Once the transaction becomes official, the Spurs will have 17 players on guaranteed contracts for next season, two above the NBA’s maximum.