Cameron Payne

Bulls Notes: Payne, McDermott, Mirotic, Hoiberg

Doug McDermott‘s return to Chicago tonight as a member of the Knicks gave Bulls fans an unpleasant reminder of the Cameron Payne trade, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. Payne appeared in just 11 games after being acquired from the Thunder in that five-player deal and hasn’t played at all this season as he recovers from offseason foot surgery.

Coach Fred Hoiberg told reporters tonight that an X-ray on Payne last week showed improvement, but he still isn’t able to run or cut and probably can’t play full-court games for at least six weeks. Cowley suggests it will take Payne at least a couple of weeks to get in shape after that, which pushes his return date back to sometime in mid-February.

“He came at a very difficult time last year with a veteran team, and just had his struggles,” Hoiberg said. “At the same time we’re competing for a playoff spot and it’s a tough time to come in and make an impact. For Cam, the big thing is to stay positive through this stretch, and to get him back and have some positive moments for us when we’re going down the stretch.’’

There’s more tonight from Chicago:

  • McDermott was surprised by the trade that sent him to Oklahoma City at last season’s deadline, tweets K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. He was in the middle of his most productive season, averaging 10.2 points and 3.0 rebounds per game, when the deal occurred. “It was hard leaving because of all the people I liked here,” he said. “But I wish them the best. It was a great organization to play for.”
  • Now that Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis have put aside hard feelings over their preseason altercation, they should expect to remain teammates for the rest the season, Johnson writes in a mailbag column. The Bulls found a “non-existent” trade market for both players after Mirotic threatened not to return to the team unless Portis was dealt. The Bulls also found no interest in Mirotic when they shopped him prior to last year’s deadline, and no other organization offered him a significant deal as a restricted free agent this summer.
  • Rumors about Hoiberg’s firing have persisted almost from the time he became the Bulls’ head coach, but he is safe for this season, Johnson adds in the same piece. The front office likes how he has handled a collection of young talent, and he has done better with assigning roles and holding players accountable for their performance. Hoiberg has two more seasons left on his contract.

Bulls Notes: Dunn, Grant, Payne, Mirotic

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg declared an “open” competition for the starting point guard slot after tonight’s 32-point loss to the Thunder, tweets Nick Friedell of ESPN. Kris Dunn, who was acquired in an offseason trade with Minnesota, made his season debut after missing the first four games with a dislocated finger. Dunn fell on the finger, but Hoiberg said he was “fine” after the game.

Jerian Grant started his fifth straight game, but has been less than stellar as Chicago has compiled a 1-4 record. He was averaging 10.8 points and 7.3 assists coming into tonight, but was shooting 39.5% from the field and was just 1 of 10 from 3-point range. He missed all seven of his shots against OKC and finished with two points. Kay Felder, who was claimed off waivers earlier this month, is the third point guard.

There’s more news from Chicago:

  • Cameron Payne could become another candidate for that starting spot when he returns from offseason foot surgery. The Bulls’ decision to pick up his option Friday indicates they still see him as part of the future, notes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. Payne saw limited playing time after being acquired from the Thunder at February’s deadline. “The thing with Cam, obviously came in during the middle of the season,’’ Hoiberg said, “came at a tough time. The biggest thing we saw, especially in the playoff prep when he was playing the role of Isaiah Thomas, he really showed an ability to get downhill, spray the ball out.’’ The team doesn’t expect Payne back on the court before the start of 2018.
  • Nikola Mirotic, who is still recovering from the damage caused by a punch from Bobby Portis, has been cleared for supervised activity at the team facility, but hasn’t started yet, tweets Vincent Goodwill of NBC Sports Chicago. Hoiberg said it may happen tomorrow or Monday.
  • David Nwaba, who won a roster spot after being claimed off waivers in July, is making a case for more playing time, writes K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. The second-year guard is impressing teammates with his commitment to defense. “David is one of the best shot contesters I’ve played against,” said Justin Holiday. “Remember when he blocked [Kyle] Korver‘s shot? How many do you see block Korver’s shot?”

Bulls Exercise Options On Bobby Portis, Four Others

The Bulls have exercised options on all five of their eligible players, the team announced in a press release. That was the plan all along, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune tweets.

Returning on third-year options in 2018/19 will be Kris Dunn and Denzel Valentine while all of Jerian Grant, Cameron Payne and Bobby Portis will be back on fourth-year options.

While it makes sense for a rebuilding team to retain young players with promise, Vincent Goodwill of NBC Sports Chicago tweeted on October 18 that the club hadn’t, at that point, made a decision about Portis.

Portis infamously hospitalized Nikola Mirotic in a team practice on October 17 and several stories have emerged in the last few days about internal doubts that the two will ever be able to co-exist in a Bulls locker room again.

As far as asset management goes, however, it makes sense for the Bulls to pick up the options on all of the capable young players as doing so doesn’t preclude them from making any moves with Mirotic, of Portis for that matter, in the future.

The exercised options of Dunn and Valentine are obvious choices. Both players, highly regarded entering their rookie campaigns in 2016/17, have shown flashes of why they were so revered in college. The raw but malleable assets are exactly the type of building blocks that a team in Chicago’s current position ought to be collecting.

In contrast, Grant, the club’s starting point guard thus far in 2018/19, is the most heavily utilized player of the bunch. Grant has posted averages of 10.8 points and an impressive 7.3 assists per game in a full starter’s workload through four games. He may end up ceding time and opportunity to Dunn, who is expected to return in a reserve role soon, but has done a fine job establishing himself in his third season.

The decision to exercise Payne’s fourth-year option seems natural considering that the team marketed him as a potential point guard of the future last season.

As the Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson noted in a separate tweet, there remains internal belief that Payne could have an impact on the rebuilding team if he’s able to maintain his health. Payne has played just 88 games throughout the first three years of his career.

Bulls’ Cameron Payne Out For 3-4 Months

SEPTEMBER 8: The Bulls have provided another update on Payne, announcing today in a press release that he underwent successful surgery on his right foot on Wednesday. The point guard is expected to make a full recovery in three to four months, according to the team. That would put Payne on track to return in December or January.

AUGUST 31: The Bulls have issued a formal update on Payne, confirming that he’ll undergo surgery on his broken foot next Wednesday.

According to the team, a six-week period of rest in a boot was prescribed for Payne after he suffered the injury in mid-July, but the fracture hasn’t healed satisfactorily since then, resulting in a surgery recommendation.

AUGUST 30: Cameron Payne will undergo surgery on his right foot and his recovery is expected to keep him out of action until late November, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical.

Payne dealt with injuries to the foot earlier in his career and he re-aggravated the injury this offseason playing for the Bulls’ Summer League team. It was his first offseason with Chicago, as the organization traded for him at the 2017 trade deadline.

The Thunder selected Payne with the No. 14 overall pick out of Murray State in the 2015 draft. In his two seasons as a pro, the point guard averaged 5.0 points and 1.5 assists in 13.2 minutes per game.

Central Notes: Osman, Payne, Crowder

The Cavaliers are in win now mode, in case you haven’t heard, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t still have a handful of young players who will be hard at work this season trying to carve out long-term roles for themselves.

Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report recently broke down some of the team’s young talent, including draft-and-stash prospect Cedi Osman who signed with the Cavaliers ready to suit up for 2017/18. Likened to a 6’8″ Matthew Dellavedova, Osman could hustle his way into a role in Cleveland’s rotation.

The feature also sheds light on big men Edy Tavares and Ante Zizic. The former, he writes, could be the first cut should the Cavaliers need to free up a roster spot. Zizic, on the other hand, could establish himself as a high-motor rebounder in the mold of Steven Adams.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Bulls may have changed their outlook on Cameron Payne‘s role with the franchise, and not for the better. Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times writes that one source close to the team seemed particularly bearish. “We knew the second practice [after he was acquired] that he couldn’t play at [an NBA] level,” the source told Cowley. “The only reason it took two practices was because we thought maybe it was nerves in the first one.”
  • The Bulls have named Shawn Respert their new Director of Player Development among various other executive-level changes, a press release on the team’s official site states.
  • While Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas were the big names trading places, the fate of the blockbuster trade between the Cavaliers and Celtics could come down to how well Jae Crowder fares in Cleveland, Jesse Blancarte of Basketball Insiders writes.

Central Notes: Marjanovic, Payne, George

Expect Pistons big man Boban Marjanovic to get more of an opportunity to shine next season. Rod Beard of the Detroit News writes that fans can expect current backup center Aron Baynes to explore free agency by turning down his player option, leaving Marjonvic as the next man up behind Andre Drummond.

In limited action Marjanovic showed flashes of excellence, no surprise considering he did just that with the Spurs in 2015/16. Per 36, his 23.5 points and 16.0 rebounds make him a particularly compelling option for a Pistons team that often has to bench Drummond on account of his poor free-throw shooting.

Unfortunately, as the Pistons struggled and eventually failed to sneak into the postseason, Marjanovic was rarely used in 2016/17.

This is a fault of ours that we really didn’t build anything around him, either offensively or defensively,” Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy said last month. “We have to do some defensive things to help him and we’ve got to get him the ball even more offensively, but he was our third center, so we didn’t build enough around him. Certainly we will, going forward.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Bulls are still very high on Cameron Payne, Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago writes, despite the fact that the guard wasn’t featured as heavily as some thought he would be following the deal in which they acquired him.
  • While they may be exploring their trade options, the Bulls mean no disrespect to starting swingman Jimmy Butler, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune writes. “Don’t misunderstand: We think the world of him. You can’t say enough good things about how this young man has made himself the player that he is,” team executive vice president John Paxson said.
  • A panel of NBA.com columnists discussed what they would do with Paul George this offseason and how big of a priority retaining him would be if they stepped into the role of incoming Pacers president Kevin Pritchard.
  • The Bucks worked out a handful of NCAA seniors today, with the full list of players available at the team’s official website. Milwaukee will pick No. 17 in this year’s draft.

Bulls Notes: Butler, Rondo, Payne

As the dust settles on Chicago’s elimination from the NBA postseason, the topic of conversation shifts from their impressive early series performance against the Celtics to what they’ll do in the offseason. Jimmy Butler, for what it’s worth, tells Nick Friedell of ESPN that he’d like to remain with the Bulls.

Butler is well aware of the fact that he’ll be featured heavily in trade rumors this offseason but went so far as to say that he hoped the Bulls front office would retain potential free agent Rajon Rondo. The Bulls have a player option on the second year of the veteran guard’s contract.

He’s been huge for us this year,” Butler said. “[…] But I don’t know what the future holds for anybody. So I’ll sit back and wait on that time to come.

The 27-year-old swingman put up 23.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game for the Bulls despite the notoriously chaotic campaign and has said all the right things when it comes to his future in Chicago.

Whether the Bulls front office decides to keep the core that looked so promising in Games 1 and 2 of their first-round series together for another crack at Eastern Conference success in 2017/18, however, remains to be seen.

There’s more from Chicago:

  • It was a frustrating season for Bulls fans, one they can blame on executives Gar Forman and John Paxon. ESPN’s Nick Friedell recently wrote about how the front office hasn’t exactly stuck to the message they initially broadcast to fans about a pending rebuild.
  • Count The Vertical’s Shams Charania among those looking to make sense of the Bulls’ options heading forward. Much of what unfolds could depend on Dwyane Wade‘s player option, which at this point remains up in the air. Per Charania, Wade and Jimmy Butler will eventually discuss the decision “face-to-face”.
  • A series of ESPN Insider panelists recently discussed the looming decisions that the Bulls will have to make. Despite a dramatic 2016/17, the consensus believes we’ll see a similar roster in 2017/18 once the front office picks up Rajon Rondo’s option and Dwyane Wade takes his.
  • The Bulls still need a point guard for their future, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune writes. “It’s tough. We’re asking guys to play roles they haven’t played all year,” head coach Fred Hoiberg said of asking players like Dwyane Wade, Isaiah Canaan and even Paul Zipser to bring up the ball in their elimination game Friday.
  • The carousal of point guards that the Bulls trotted out this season didn’t impress Berry Tramel of the Oklahoman. The Thunder columnist wrote about how Cameron Payne – the supposed primary factor in the Taj Gibson deal – was Chicago’s fifth-string point guard.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 3/29/17

Here are Wednesday’s D-League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • Point guard Cameron Payne is back with the Bulls, having been recalled from the D-League following Windy City’s win on Tuesday, the club announced today in a press release. Payne was instrumental in last night’s win, scoring a team-high 20 points to go along with nine assists, five rebounds, and five steals.
  • The Rockets have sent Troy Williams and Isaiah Taylor to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle, who notes (via Twitter) that rookie big man Chinanu Onuaku will stay on the NBA roster to start the team’s road trip.
  • The Raptors have recalled Bruno Caboclo and Pascal Siakam from their D-League affiliate, the team announced today (via Twitter). Neither the Raptors nor the Raptors 905 are in action until Thursday, so we’ll see if the duo sticks with the NBA club for that game.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 3/28/17

Check out Tuesday’s D-League assignment and recalls from around the league:

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 3/24/17

Here are Friday’s D-League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

10:22pm:

  • The Warriors recalled forward Kevon Looney from their D-League affiliate earlier today, the team announced in a press release. Looney, who put up 10 points and eight boards in just 13 minutes for Santa Cruz on Thursday night, is back with Golden State for tonight’s game against Sacramento.

11:50am:

  • The Bulls recalled Cameron Payne from Windy City, the team announced via press release. Payne has made nine NBA appearances since being acquired from OKC, scoring 54 points on 33.9% shooting in that span. In his most recent D-League stop, Payne scored 14 points with eight assists and seven rebounds in a win over the Iowa Energy.
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