Cameron Payne

Raptors Hosting Free Agent Mini-Camp

As the Raptors‘ players and coaches focus on preparing for a potential NBA Finals close-out game in Oakland on Thursday night, the team’s front office will take a closer look at a number of veteran free agents over the next two days in Toronto.

According to a press release, the Raptors will host a free agent mini-camp at its practice facility on Wednesday and Thursday, with 23 players scheduled to attend.

Those players are as follows:

McLemore, Patton, and Payne – all former first-round picks – are perhaps the most well-known players on the list of participants, but they aren’t the only ones with some NBA experience. Artis, Brussino, Costello, Lofton, Thomas, and Weber have each appeared in at least one regular season game as well.

Cavaliers Sign Kobi Simmons To 10-Day Contract

Kobi Simmons has signed a 10-day deal with the Cavaliers, the team announced on its website.

The 21-year-old guard has spent the season with Cleveland’s G League affiliate in Canton after the Cavs waived him in training camp. Simmons averaged 17.0 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 30 games for the Charge.

After going undrafted out of Arizona in 2017, Simmons signed a two-way deal with the Grizzlies. He appeared in 32 games for Memphis last season, starting 12, and averaged 6.1 points in about 20 minutes per game. He was released during the summer.

The addition of Simmons ensures that Cameron Payne is done in Cleveland, at least for now. His second 10-day contract expired on Friday.

Cavs Cut Ties With Cameron Payne

The Cavaliers will not offer Cameron Payne a standard contract, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Payne’s second 10-day contract expired on Friday night and the Cavaliers had to either sign him for the remainder of the season or cut ties with the point guard.

Cleveland wanted to maintain roster flexibility heading into the trade deadline, according to Fedor.

“I feel really good about how I played here,” Payne told Fedor. “It’s understandable that they want the roster spot.”

The Cavaliers will likely sign another player to a 10-day contract. Payne played 10 games with the Cavs and averaged 8.2 PPG and 2.6 APG in 19.6 MPG. He played 31 games with the Bulls earlier this season but was waived in early January.

Cavs Sign Cameron Payne To Second 10-Day Deal

After Cameron Payne‘s initial 10-day contract with the Cavaliers expired overnight, the team has re-signed him to a second 10-day deal, according to a press release. As a result of the move, Cleveland once again has a full 15-man roster.

Payne, a former first-round pick, who has spent most of his NBA career with the Thunder and Bulls, joined the Cavaliers on January 6 and has appeared in four games with the club. The fourth-year point guard earned a longer look from Cleveland by recording 8.8 PPG and 2.8 APG with a .500/.400/.750 shooting line in those four games (17.8 MPG).

Payne’s new contract will run through January 25, covering the Cavs’ next six games, including tonight’s contest in Portland. Once the deal expires, the team will have to decide whether to re-sign Payne to a rest-of-season deal or let him walk — a club can’t sign a player to more than two 10-day contracts in a single season.

Like Payne’s first 10-day contract, this deal will have a cap hit of $85,468, increasing his total cost for the Cavaliers to $170,936.

For a full breakdown of this season’s 10-day contracts, active or otherwise, be sure to check out our tracker.

Cavs Notes: Thompson, Osman, Dellavedova, Payne

Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson called out the team after suffering a 28-point blowout loss to Houston on Friday, detailing how they failed to execute a defensive game plan centered around James Harden during the contest.

The game plan, Thompson said, was to keep it 2-on-2 on the ball and force Harden and Clint Capela to score. It was designed to make sure other players weren’t effective behind Harden as a passer, which is when the Rockets are at their best.

“Obviously have to give Harden a lot of credit for his scoring ability, but we can live with him scoring all the points as long as other guys are not contributing,” Thompson said, according to Chris Fedor of “We didn’t do that tonight. Didn’t do that at all.”

Instead, the Cavs trailed by as many as 44 points and lost their 12th game in a row. Cleveland’s record now sits at 8-35 on the season, with the patience of Thompson reaching a boiling point after the loss.

“How many games has it been? At this point, we’ve taught everything we can teach,” Thompson said. “Now it’s up to the players to come out there and just do their job. Do your job. Simple. Our players didn’t do their job.”

There’s more out of Cleveland today:

  • Cedi Osman quickly earned the respect of LeBron James last season, Fedor notes in a separate story for Osman accidentally injured James during one of his first scrimmages, but James appreciated his effort level and work ethic on the team. “For me, every practice with him, dinner, lunch, being together was special. It was my favorite,” Osman said of James. “I will say I was really proud when he was talking about me to the media. What he was saying about me, all that good stuff, that was really special to me.” Osman and James have remained in touch throughout the 2018/19 season despite mostly being thousands of miles apart, checking in on each other over text.
  • Matthew Dellavedova is focused on a new role in his second stint with the Cavs, Joe Gabriele of writes. Dellavedova joined Cleveland, a much younger team, via trade last month, mentoring Collin Sexton and others this season. “I’m just trying to talk with him about what I’m seeing out there, what he’s seeing out there – and just talk through the game,” Dellavedova said of Sexton. “We’ve watched quite a bit of game-tape together. But he works extremely hard on the court and in the weight room. So, as long as he keeps doing that, he’s going to have a really good chance.”
  • Cameron Payne is fighting to prove himself during his 10-day contract, Joe Vardon of The Athletic writes. Payne, remembered by some fans as Russell Westbrook‘s dance partner during pre-game rituals in Oklahoma City, has averaged 11.7 points in three games with the Cavs. “It’s crazy that that’s what people do remember me for,” Payne said. “Like I really haven’t, I wouldn’t necessarily say I’ve had the opportunity, but I started out playing behind Russ and D.J. Augustin, now he’s starting with the Magic. Then I got hurt. Then I’ve been just out. I came back and I’d be able to play and just get sprinkled in, and I never really got back to my full potential.”

Bulls Notes: Boylen, Markkanen, Payne

Critics have called on coach Jim Boylen to make the 3-point shot a greater part of his offense, but the Bulls don’t have the personnel to make that strategy work, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times.

“What we haven’t done is finished very well at those plays at the rim,” Boylen said in response to a question this week. “That’s where we have to grow. Then it’s finishing at the rim, maybe the defense takes it away, and now you spray out [to the 3-point line]. Who are we spraying out to? Well, we’re going to keep working at that.”

Lauri Markkanen has been the team’s most efficient 3-point shooter, but he doesn’t rank in the league’s top 20. The Bulls are 19th in the NBA in 3-point shooting percentage at 34.7%, but are 26th in the number of shots taken and tied for last in makes.

“Sometimes you don’t have the personnel to become a team that’s in the top 10 in 3-point attempts, and makes, and field-goal percentage,” Zach LaVine said. “I think we can take more, but we’d have to be hunting them, and certain guys have to hunt them.”

There’s more news out of Chicago:

  • The Bulls shouldn’t be so quick to commit to Boylen beyond this season, argues Jon Greenburg of The Athletic. He notes that the organization didn’t really conduct a coaching search before hiring Fred Hoiberg in 2015 and contends that Boylen is too similar to what management decided it didn’t want when it fired Tom Thibodeau. Greenburg mentions current Grizzlies assistant Jerry Stackhouse as a bold hiring the team could make.
  • Markkanen is still finding his way after missing the first part of the season with an elbow injury, relays Sam Smith of The second-year forward is averaging 17.0 PPG since returning to action, but hasn’t become the focus of the offense that many had hoped, taking just 14.6 shots per night.“I’d rather have plays where I get good shots rather than trying to force something up,” he explained. “I think it all starts from being aggressive and getting to my spots, try to make the right basketball plays.”
  • Taking a chance on Cameron Payne wasn’t a bad gamble, Smith writes in a question-and-answer column. The Bulls waived Payne last week after giving up Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott and a second-round pick to acquire him in 2017. But Smith says the front office never intended to re-sign Gibson or McDermott, so it didn’t hurt to take a chance on a former lottery pick.

Cavaliers Sign Cameron Payne To 10-Day Contract

5:25pm: The signing is now official, the Cavs announced in a press release.

4:33pm: After releasing Patrick McCaw earlier in the day, the Cavaliers will sign point guard Cameron Payne to a 10-day contract, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).

Payne was most recently with the Bulls, as he was traded to Chicago during the 2016/17 season. Unfortunately, Payne struggled with injuries, as he only appeared in 67 games for the Bulls since that 2017 trade. For his career, Payne has averaged 5.8 points and 2.5 assists per game, while shooting 32.9% from beyond the arc.

This appears to be another tryout for Payne to latch on to an NBA roster, but he will likely be behind both Collin Sexton and Matthew Dellavedova in the rotation.

Paxson Talks Holiday Trade, Parker, Payne, Future

The Bulls (10-29) are tied with the Knicks for the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference, and are focused on the future. That was signaled by this week’s trade that sent veteran swingman Justin Holiday to the Grizzlies for Wayne SeldenMarShon Brooks and two second-round picks. Chicago also subsequently waived Cameron Payne to created a roster spot.

Bulls vice president of basketball operations John Paxson spoke to reporters, including NBC Sports Chicago’s Mark Strotman, on Friday and said the Holiday trade came together “in a couple of hours.” Paxson also addressed Jabari Parker‘s future with the team, Chicago’s plan leading up to the trade deadline and expectations of new head coach Jim Boylen.

On potentially making more trades before the deadline…

“That’s what has to happen. Things have to align. You can’t just force it. Again, if we can acquire young players, draft assets, we can maybe look at our roster and think there’s a better fit, we’ll go that route.”

On Parker’s future in Chicago…

“The one thing [Boylen] has been really consistent with is the accountability aspect. I believe you can hold players to a certain standard of what you want as a coach. Jabari is a really good guy. You guys have been around him. He’s a terrific person. If we can acclimate him back into things, he’s going to get a chance. This league is about getting chances, even for players who have been through what Jabari has been through.”

The decision to part with Payne…

“You make decisions and hope for the best. The reality is both (Ryan Arcidiacono) and (Shaq Harrison) have outplayed him. They fit what we want to do. Cam had some struggles with his foot and trying to get him back. We wish him well.”

On the Bulls’ future and player development…

“Very important. It’s really important. We need to see growth. We need to see how they play. We’re a month into [Boylen]’s tenure now, and I think they understand what’s expected. So we’re going to go out on the road here after these next two games. That’s a good time for a young team to get together. They’re going to be hard games. We just need to see development. That’s going to be a big key.”

Bulls Waive Cameron Payne

10:39pm: The Bulls have officially waived Payne, according to a press release from the team.

8:05pm: The Bulls are likely to waive Cameron Payne once their multi-player trade with the Grizzlies is official, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Payne is a former first-round pick and holds four years of NBA experience.

Chicago agreed to send Justin Holiday to Memphis in exchange for Wayne Selden, MarShon Brooks, a 2019 second-round pick and a 2020 second-round pick on Thursday, Wojnarowski reported. The Bulls already have a full 15-man roster, so they don’t have the room necessary to acquire two players for one without releasing someone else.

The Bulls are expected to remain active in trade discussions as the February 7 deadline nears, with the team already shopping players such as Jabari Parker and Robin Lopez, Wojnarowski adds. Chicago holds a 10-28 record through their first 38 games this season.

Payne, 24, was traded from the Thunder to the Bulls at the trade deadline in February of 2017. He’s struggled to establish himself as a consistent contributor since entering the league, dealing with a series of foot injuries in recent years.

Payne spent one full season and two half-seasons with Chicago, though he appeared in just 67 total games for the Bulls during that time. He has averaged 5.7 points, 2.7 assists and 17.3 minutes in 31 games this season, shooting 41% from the floor and 27% from 3-point range.

Central Notes: Payne, Korver, Cavs, Pistons

In the wake of Kris Dunn‘s MCL injury, Mark Schanowski of NBC Sports Chicago suggested that it was time for the Bulls to spin the point guard roulette wheel again. While he acknowledged that Cameron Payne, Shaquille Harrison, Ryan Arcidiacono, and Tyler Ulis were all options, Schanowski argued that Chicago’s best option at the point might be Zach LaVine, who is most effective with the ball in his hands.

In the Bulls’ first win of the season on Wednesday night, LaVine did handle the ball most in crunch time, but before the game reached that point, it was Payne who enjoyed a breakout performance. As Mark Strotman of NBC Sports Chicago details, Payne followed up a poor first half by making seven 3-pointers in the second half, good for a career-best 21 points.

“It was a huge night for Cam, huge confidence booster,” Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg said. “You know, Cam works as hard as anybody on this team. It’s great to see that hard work pay off and it’s a confidence booster, something he can build on.”

Payne has been plagued by injuries and inconsistency since being acquired by the Bulls at the 2017 trade deadline, but Wednesday’s showing was a step in the right direction, and he should get more opportunities in the coming weeks, with Dunn expected to be sidelined at least another month or so. Payne will be eligible for restricted free agency at season’s end, so he’ll have a chance to improve his stock if he keeps playing well.

Here’s more from around the Central division:

  • Cavaliers sharpshooter Kyle Korver isn’t concerned if his playing time is cut back or if his role is unpredictable from game to game, writes Chris Fedor of “I think we’re trying to figure a lot of things out across the board,” Korver said on Wednesday. “Trying to find lineups that work, trying to find a fun style of play. There’s a lot of new here and it hasn’t been that long yet. This is a great job for me, whether I’m playing or not, so I’m going to come every day and work hard.”
  • Korver’s comments came prior to the Cavaliers‘ fourth straight loss on Wednesday night, a game that didn’t impress fellow veterans Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love, as Joe Vardon of The Athletic relays. “We need everyone in this organization that gets paid by the Cleveland Cavaliers to make sure everyone is here to fight and no one has quit yet,” Thompson said after the Cavs were blown out at home by Brooklyn.
  • When an NBA team hires a new head coach, it has a ripple effect on that club’s G League affiliate. In an interesting piece for, Peter J. Wallner takes a closer look at how the Grand Rapids Drive, led by coach Ryan Krueger, will work to implement new Pistons coach Dwane Casey‘s philosophy at the NBAGL level this season after growing accustomed to Stan Van Gundy‘s system and style.