Cameron Payne

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 Cleveland.com. “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 Cleveland.com. 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 Cavs.com 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 NBA.com. 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 Cleveland.com. “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 MLive.com, 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.

Bulls’ Kris Dunn Out 4-6 Weeks With MCL Sprain

Bulls starting point guard Kris Dunn will be sidelined for the next four to six weeks after suffering a sprained MCL, the team announced today (via Twitter). The injury occurred in the second quarter of Monday’s loss to Dallas, per head coach Fred Hoiberg (Twitter link via The Chicago Sun-Times).

Dunn, who missed the start of the season due to the birth of his child, was making his regular season debut on Monday. While he was able to stay in and finish the game after sustaining the injury, he’ll now be out of action until at least late November, according to the team.

With Dunn set to return within six weeks or so, the Bulls are unlikely to make a roster move to acquire point guard depth, particularly since they already did so over the weekend — the club added Shaquille Harrison to a group that also includes Cameron Payne and Ryan Arcidiacono, and those three guards figure to handle the position in Dunn’s absence. Tyler Ulis may also see some action, but he’s on a two-way contract, so any day he plays or practices with the team will count toward his 45-day NBA limit.

Payne, who started Chicago’s first two games of the season, is the best bet to claim Dunn’s spot in the starting five. All three of the Bulls’ reserve point guards will be looking to make an impression on team management with Dunn on the shelf, as Payne is in a contract year and Harrison and Arcidiacono don’t have fully guaranteed salaries.

The Bulls will now be without Dunn, Lauri Markkanen, and Denzel Valentine for the time being as they look to rebound from an 0-3 start.

Bulls Notes: LaVine, Harrison, Asik, Payne

While their 0-3 start hasn’t generated the sort of angst that the Thunder’s or Lakers’ has, the Bulls expressed some frustration after falling 115-109 to the Mavericks on Monday night. After head coach Fred Hoiberg suggested that “we lost our composure,” Zach LaVine initially disagreed with that idea, assigning the blame elsewhere.

We gotta run the right sets out there,” LaVine said, per Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. “That was the main thing. If we would have run the right plays, got the ball to the right people, I think we would have been all right.”

Later in his conversation with reporters, LaVine conceded that his head coach might be right about the club losing its composure, adding that he was “not putting [the loss] on Fred,” as K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune details. Still, the fifth-year guard said the Bulls “have to do better” at recognizing who has the hot hand on offense and running plays for those players.

Here’s more from out of Chicago:

  • Shaquille Harrison‘s new contract with the Bulls is a two-year, minimum salary deal with $250K guaranteed this season, tweets Malika Andrews of ESPN. According to Andrews, Harrison will get a $175K guarantee for 2019/20 if he’s not waived by August 15 next summer.
  • The Bulls are leaning toward using the stretch provision on Omer Asik, Andrews adds. Asik’s contract includes a $3MM partial guarantee for 2019/20, so stretching it across three years would reduce that cap hit to $1MM annually.
  • Michael Walton of NBC Sports Chicago explores what the newly-signed Harrison might bring to the Bulls, pointing to the former Sun’s ability as a perimeter defender as something that could help the team right away.
  • Cameron Payne, who is in a contract year, is healthy and looking to prove his worth, but with Harrison now on board and Kris Dunn back in the lineup, his opportunities may be limited, as K.C. Johnson writes for The Chicago Tribune.

Central Notes: Arcidiacono, Dekker, Walton, Clarkson

The way that Ryan Arcidiacono‘s contract with the Bulls is structured to keep him eligible for the G League, Basketball Insiders’ Eric Pincus tweets. Arcidiacano has a $50K guarantee, which will allow him to play with the Windy City Bulls. He signed a minimum one-year deal worth $1,349,383. The 6’3” guard out of Villanova appeared in 24 NBA games last season as a two-way player, averaging 2.0 points in nearly 13 minutes of action. He posted a 13.8/4.5/8.6 line in 37 G League games.

In other news around the Central Division:

  • The Clippers will send $1,247,494 to the Cavaliers as part of the Sam Dekker trade, which was made official on Tuesday, Pincus reveals in another tweet. That amount isn’t random — it’s the exact difference between Dekker’s salary and a veteran’s minimum salary, essentially allowing the Cavs to take a flier on the forward at the minimum.
  • Derrick Walton Jr. gives the Bulls another alternative, along with Arcidiacono, to Cameron Payne as Kris Dunn‘s backup, Michael Walton of NBC Sports Chicago notes. Walton is expected to sign with Chicago, according to his agent, after the Heat cut ties with the former University of Michigan floor leader last month. Walton is a better perimeter shooter than Payne, who is more comfortable having the ball in his hands and running pick-and-rolls, Michael Walton continues. The Bulls have a number of players who can create for themselves, so Walton might be a better fit behind Dunn, Michael Walton adds.
  • Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson is unlikely to play for Philippines in this month’s Asian Games, according to a Sportando report. Clarkson was a late addition to their national team but won’t be able to join them in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Central Notes: Valentine, McMillan, Morris, Pistons

The Bulls’ starting lineup seems set but there will be a couple of key position battles in training camp, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times notes. Justin Holiday and Denzel Valentine will be angling for playing time at small forward behind Jabari Parker, while Cameron Payne could have an unexpectedly tough battle with Ryan Arcidiacono as the main backup at point guard. Cristiano Felicio also needs to carve out a role and earn some of his $8,470,980 salary, Cowley adds. ‘‘The thing I’m excited about with training camp is it’s going to be open competition,’’ coach Fred Hoiberg said.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Pacers needed to extend coach Nate McMillan to prevent a lame-duck situation next season, J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star explains. McMillan agreed to an extension through the 2020/21 season. It was also necessary for a franchise that preaches culture and loyalty to reward its coach for a job well-done last season, Michael continues. The Pacers overcame the lack of true stretch four as well as a shooter at the backup shooting guard spot. Their wings were also somewhat limited offensively and they were undersized in the backcourt, Michael adds.
  • If Jaylen Morris can improve his perimeter shooting, the Bucks will be rewarded for signing him to a two-way contract, according to Dakota Schmidt of RidiculousUpside.com. Morris is adept at attacking the basket and finishing at the rim and is also a solid defender, Schmidt continues. The 22-year-old wing will also benefit from working with assistant Ben Sullivan, who has helped numerous players with their shooting stroke, Schmidt adds.
  • The Pistons’ 15-man roster appears to be set after a low-key July that included the free agent signings of three reserves, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press relays. Ellis breaks down the roster player-by-player in the story.