The Chicago Bulls are undergoing a full rebuilding project for the next season or two. Unfortunately, the Chicago Bulls will be without Cameron Payne at the start of it. It is being reported that Bulls’ point guard Cameron Payne will need surgery to repair his right foot.
According to ESPN Chicago’s Nick Friedell, Chicago Bulls’ Cameron Payne will miss the first couple of months of the NBA regular season due to his surgery. The Chicago Bulls losing Payne for a few months is huge, despite his impact on the court being minimal thus far.
The Chicago Bulls acquired Cameron Payne from the Oklahoma City Thunder on the day of the NBA trade deadline. Payne was the principal return in a deal where the Bulls shipped forwards Doug McDermott and Taj Gibson to the Thunder, according to the Chicago Tribune.
As it currently stands, the Chicago Bulls only have an ineffective Cameron Payne to show for the trade. The Bulls did not receive a draft pick in exchange for two solid contributors. Also, the other two players the Bulls got in return were Joffrey Lauvergne and Anthony Morrow, who left via free agency.
The Chicago Bulls were hoping that Cameron Payne could turn into a legitimate starter or at least a solid role player with expansive playing time. Now, the Bulls are hoping that Payne can overcome his foot injuries in order to stay on the basketball court long enough to learn the NBA game.
What is not clear is whether Payne’s upcoming surgery is related to the acute fracture he suffered (courtesy of The Oklahoman) last season while he was with the Oklahoma City Thunder. If that is the case, the Chicago Bulls may be without Cameron Payne until November at the earliest.
During the Chicago Bulls’ rebuilding process, Cameron Payne is one of the players they need to evaluate the most. Payne was advertised for his speed and ability to break down opposing defenses off the dribble. Payne struggled to push off his right foot after returning from his first surgery.
Payne pushing off his right foot may have led to his latest surgery. In order to be fully healed, the Chicago Bulls should not rush him back. Judging from how poorly he fared with the Bulls’ summer league team, Payne may wind up spending some time their G-League affiliate, the Windy City Bulls.
The Chicago Bulls were hoping that Cameron Payne would be the answer to their woes at point guard. There are now NBA rumors suggesting that the Bulls may be done with Payne altogether. Payne has not done enough to prove that he belongs with the Bulls.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Bulls are rumored to be questioning Payne’s NBA future. A source close to the Chicago Bulls cites that their doubts began after his second practice.
“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.. . . We got ‘Garred’ on that one.”
The source points to Chicago Bulls’ general manager Gar Forman as the orchestrator for the Cameron Payne trade. The deal is one of the biggest indictments made on the Bulls’ front office in the past five seasons.
Cameron Payne not making immediate dividends for the Chicago Bulls may have led to several moves the team has made in the offseason. One of the moves was the blockbuster trade (courtesy of Sports Illustrated) which sent Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn.
The trade also included the swap of draft picks by both the Bulls and Timberwolves. However, it may not have taken place had Cameron Payne worked out.
Cameron Payne’s next surgery may have put his NBA career on hold for the time being. Injury nonetheless, his ineffectiveness may end his time with the Chicago Bulls. It is hard to dismiss the notion that both Payne’s injury and his inability to contribute has had an impact on the Bulls. Perhaps it led to the Bulls rebuilding process.
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