According to recent reports, the Chicago Bulls may decide to waive point guard Cameron Payne before the upcoming 2017-18 NBA season.
The 23-year-old guard fractured the fifth metatarsal of his right foot on July 18. After six weeks in a walking boot did not help, the team elected for him to have surgery earlier this week. The recent injury was on the same foot that he fractured in September 2016.
ESPN projects Payne, who played two games for the Bulls during summer league this offseason, could miss “at least a couple months” and return in November. But the injury could spell the end for his time in Chicago.
NBA insider Joe Cowley said a source close to the situation believes the front office could move on from Payne (via SunTimes.com)
“We knew the second practice [after he was acquired] that he couldn’t play at [an NBA] level. The only reason it took two practices was because we thought maybe it was nerves in the first one. Any [Bulls] coach who says differently is lying.”
In March, he told HoopsHype he gets more comfortable when he plays more minutes and said there is a lot that goes into the adjustment of playing for a new team.
Point guards ahead of him on their projected depth chart include Kris Dunn and Jerian Grant. The Bulls also have Justin Holiday as well as Denzel Valentine and David Nwaba as shooting guards even if the organization agrees to buy out the contract of Dwyane Wade.
Earlier this week, the Bulls traded for Quincy Pondexter who could provide minutes for the team as well if they decide to keep him on their roster.
Chicago traded Doug McDermott and Taj Gibson to the Oklahoma City Thunder to land Payne as well as Joffrey Lauvergne and Anthony Morrow. Payne is the only player from that trade who is still under contract with the Bulls.
Payne is set to earn $2.3 million this season, and there is a team option on his contract for the following campaign.
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