Cameron Payne is nearing his return to the Thunder, but first he’ll have to suit up for the Oklahoma City Blue. Thunder coach Billy Donovan didn’t specify which games Payne would play in, but the 22-year-old is expected to play this week for the Blue, possibly as early as Tuesday night in Salt Lake City. It’ll be Payne’s first live game action since suffering an acute fracture in his right foot in the Thunder’s Blue and White scrimmage Sept. 27. The Blue has three games this week: Tuesday at Salt Lake City, Thursday at Reno and Saturday at home against Greensboro (7 p.m., Cox Convention Center).
But he participated in full-contact three-on-three at the end of Wednesday's practice, as did guard Victor Oladipo, who's missed the past eight games with a sprained right wrist. Oladipo also will sit out against the Grizzlies unless something “unforeseeable” happens before the game, Donovan said. But both players appear to be closing in on returns.
Randy Renner: From today's #Thunder practice "Neither Oladipo Nor Payne Expected To Play On Roadtrip" at InsideThunder.com pic.twitter.com/7k70q8z7X78
Chris Haynes: ESPN Sources: Oklahoma guard Cameron Payne nearing season debut from fractured foot. Potential return date: Dec. 29 in hometown of Memphis.
The Oklahoma City Thunder announced today that guard Cameron Payne suffered an acute fracture to his fifth metatarsal in Tuesday night’s Blue-White Scrimmage.
Royce Young: Cameron Payne suffered an "acute fracture" to his fifth metatarsal in his right foot, the same one he had surgery on this summer.
Randy Renner: #Thunder say Payne will talk to doctors this week to see about treatment going forward. No word on whether he will make trip to Spain.
Anthony Slater: Thunder point guard Cameron Payne had surgery for a Jones fracture in his right foot today. Expected to be ready for training camp.
Randy Renner: #Thunder coach Billy Donovan says both Cameron Payne and Nick Collison are back from injury and cleared to play https://t.co/SWFkptAQEc
July 3, 2022 | 4:34 am EDT Update
There’s an increasing possibility we’re going to find out. On top of ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reporting Friday that the Raptors are ‘lurking’ in the background of the Kevin Durant trade discussions that have held the NBA hostage in recent days, I can confirm that not only are the Raptors ‘lurking,’ but they also feel they can put together the best package of assets the Brooklyn Nets are likely to get.
There is also a sense – though it’s reading tea leaves at this stage, as teams can’t communicate directly with Durant, who remains under contract with the Nets – that the two-time champion and 11-time all-NBA force of nature is at least open to the possibility of playing in Toronto.
The Wolves also made several calls to Brooklyn on Kevin Durant, sources said, but the Nets were asking for established All-Stars and a mountain of picks. Minnesota was unwilling to part with either Edwards or Towns in a KD-centered deal, so there was no traction. Had they gotten more aggressive with San Antonio in talks for Dejounte Murray, they could have outbid Atlanta. But they didn’t, making it clear that they always valued Gobert more.
A league source told The Post any talk of a deal being close to done as premature. One reporter for The Athletic suggested Kendrick Nunn could be part of a larger deal, while another shot down the report altogether. Such is the chaos Kevin Durant’s trade demand has thrown the league into.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Mavs are looking into the possibility. “Kyrie Irving has several suitors involved Lakers, Sixers and Mavericks, keep an eye out in the next couple of weeks,” said Charania.
Nate Randle: An open letter to Rudy Gobert: You are the most respectful and considerate athlete I have ever had the pleasure of working with. As a former Utah Jazz employee and fan, you will be missed. I have spent 15+ years of my career in sports and have seen it all. Most don’t carry themselves as you do. When we launched the #TakeNote campaign, you were the first player to adopt it. When I said thanks for tweeting it, you sincerely asked me to tell the entire marketing team how much you loved it.
Every time we shot a commercial with you — you showed up on time and never asked to leave early. I can’t tell you how rare that is. When we asked you to “do another take” or “say a different line” – you never complained. I won’t forget the time we were recording voiceover lines. You paused and said, “Does it sound like I mean it because I want Jazz fans to know that I really care.”