The Thunder have signed Cameron Payne, this year’s No. 14 overall pick, the team announced. His rookie scale contract is likely worth slightly more than $9.6MM over four years, with a first-year salary of nearly $2.022MM, presuming he gets the standard 120% of the rookie scale, as our table of salaries for 2015 first-round picks shows.
Eddie Scarito of Hoops Rumors had predicted in our final mock draft that Payne would go to the Thunder amid rumors of a promise from the team. Chad Ford of ESPN.com, who originally reported that chatter, had Payne as the No. 14 prospect in his rankings. Payne starred at mid-major Murray State, averaging 20.2 points, 6.0 assists and 2.5 turnovers this past season, and he told Zach Links of Hoops Rumors before the draft that he compares his game to that of Tony Parker.
The signing of the Travis King client raises his cap hold by roughly $300K, but it does little to affect flexibility for Oklahoma City, which is already well above the $70MM cap. The Thunder figure to pay the tax should they match Portland’s offer sheet to Enes Kanter, as expected, but the club didn’t end up trading its pick and seems committed to Payne as a backup for Russell Westbrook.