Cameron Payne
Cameron Payne
26-Year-Old GuardG
Phoenix Suns  NBA  
Phoenix Suns
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Payne joined the Suns in 2019-20, appearing with his fourth team in five NBA seasons. He experienced his best statistical season to date, averaging 10.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.9 triples and 1.0 steals - all career highs, save the assists. This season, Payne will serve as the primary backup to new arrival Chris Paul, and Payne should be a key reserve in his sixth year. With Kelley Oubre out the door, there are additional scoring opportunities up for grabs, and Payne could provide a spark off the bench. He's a worthwhile add in deeper leagues, and he could become immediately relevant in 12-team leagues if Chris Paul is forced to miss time at any point. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $196,288 contract with the Suns in June of 2020. Suns exercised $1.98 million team option for 2020-21 in November of 2020.
Personal Bio

Payne was born Aug. 8, 1994 in Bartlett, Tennessee to Tony and Leshawn Payne. He attended Lausanne Collegiate School in Memphis, Tennessee, growing from 5-foot-5 as a freshman to 6-foot as a senior. He led the high school to a 2013 Division II state title. As a senior, he averaged 20 points and 10 assists with four rebounds and was named Mr. Basketball. After high school, he attended Murray State for two seasons of college ball. During his sophomore season, he averaged 20.2 points, 6.0 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.9 steals in 32.2 minutes. After the season, he was named the OVC Player of the Year and proceeded to declare for the NBA Draft.

College/International Summary

Payne attended Murray State for two seasons. As a freshman, he started all 34 of his appearances, averaging 16.8 points, 5.4 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.7 steals. That resulted in him being named OVC Freshman of the Year. Arguably his best effort as a freshman was Mar. 27 against Towson, where Payne totaled 24 points (8-13 FG, 4-8 3Pt, 4-4 FT), seven assists, five steals and four rebounds in 30 minutes. As a sophomore, Payne improved his numbers, averaging 20.2 points, 6.0 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.9 steals. As a result, he was voted OVC Player of the Year in 2015. In arguably his best performance as a sophomore, the guard recorded 32 points (10-19 FG, 4-7 3Pt, 8-12 FT), eight assists, five rebounds and two steals.

Nails three triples
GPhoenix Suns
May 16, 2021
Payne scored 19 points (7-14 FG, 3-6 3Pt, 2-2 FT) to go along with six assists, four rebounds and one steal across 27 minutes in Sunday's win over the Spurs.
ANALYSIS
Payne drew his only start of the regular season in the final game with both Chris Paul and Devin Booker resting. He led the team with three triples and otherwise scored fairly efficiently. Payne was overshadowed by Jevon Carter on Sunday, but he should keep his significant role off the bench as the Suns head into a playoff matchup against either the Lakers or Warriors.
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Past Season Summaries
2020

Payne has missed 11 games through the first half of the season due to foot and ankle injuries, but he was able to resume his backup point guard duties through the final 11 games prior to the All-Star break, averaging 6.6 points on 50.9 percent shooting, 1.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.2 triples across 15.2 minutes per contest. After the team acquired Chris Paul in the offseason, the 26-year-old point guard has averaged 16.4 minutes per game so far this season in the bench role. Payne has shot 42.1 percent from downtown on 2.4 attempts per game. His season high in scoring came in a Feb. 20 win over Memphis in which he posted 19 points to go along with seven assists across 26 minutes.

2019

The Suns signed Payne to a contract on June 30, 2020, prior to the season restart in Orlando. Payne went on to become a key piece for Phoenix, averaging 10.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.0 steal across eight appearances. Payne hit 48.5 percent of his field goals, including 51.7 percent of his 3.6 three-point attempts per game. In his season debut, Payne posted nine points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals in a win over Washington. He had a season-high 15 points against Indiana on Aug. 6 -- a total he'd match in the season finale on Aug. 13 against Dallas. Prior to joining the Suns, Payne spent time in the Chinese Basketball Association, as well as in the G League.

2018

Payne began the year with the Bulls, with whom he played in 31 games and picked up 12 starts. He averaged 17.3 minutes per contest with Chicago, notching 5.7 points and 2.7 assists per contest. The third-year man made 41.1 percent of his field goals and 88.0 percent of his free throws. He tallied a season-high 21 points -- all on three-pointers -- in a win over the Hornets on Oct. 24. In January, Payne was waived by the Bulls. He signed a 10-day contract with the Cavaliers a few days later, then signed a second 10-day deal with the Cavs after that one expired. Payne appeared in nine games with Cleveland, including one start. His minutes increased from his time with Chicago, as Payne played 19.6 minutes per night. Payne also attempted nearly one more three per-pointer game on average and made 36.0 percent of his shots from beyond the arc with the Cavs. Accordingly, his scoring output jumped to 8.2 points per contest.

2017

Payne was limited to just 25 games (14 starts) in an injury-shortened 2017-2018 season in Chicago. A foot surgery in September delayed the start of his year until Feb. 22, and the Bulls eased him into action the rest of the season. Following 11 appearances off the bench, the Murray State product made his first start of the season on March 17. He then remained in the starting lineup through the end of the year. Payne still managed to set new career bests with 23.3 minutes and 8.8 points per game. In his 14 starts, he increased those rates to 26.5 minutes and 9.4 points per game. Payne's season-high in scoring was 17 points, a mark he reached twice. He dished out a season-high 10 assists against Cleveland in that March 17 game. That was also his only double-double of the season, as he scored 13 points in the contest. Payne grabbed a season-high eight rebounds against Houston on March 27.

2016

After recovering from two successive fractures in his foot, Payne made his 2016-17 season debut on Jan. 7 against Denver, racking up eight points. He went on to average 5.3 points with 0.8 threes, 1.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 0.5 steals across 20 games for Oklahoma City before being traded to Chicago on Feb. 23 alongside Joffrey Lauvergne and Anthony Morrow for Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott and a draft pick. He appeared in another 11 games for Chicago, averaging 4.9 points with 1.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists. Payne also spent some time in the D-League, playing a total of five games for the Oklahoma City Blue and Windy City Bulls; he averaged 18.4 points with 2.4 threes, 4.0 rebounds and 5.8 assists in that time. Back in the NBA, his best game for the Thunder came Feb. 9, when he notched 15 points against Cleveland. In his biggest game with the Bulls, he picked up 14 points Mar. 6 against Detroit. Payne also appeared in one playoff game for Chicago, hitting a three-pointer and collecting a rebound in 4:11 on the court.

2015

After going 14th overall to the Thunder in the 2015 NBA Draft, Payne played in 51 games (one start) during the 2015-16 campaign. The rookie out of Murray State averaged 5.0 points, 0.6 threes, 1.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 0.6 steals across 12.2 minutes per contest. He scored in double digits 10 times. On Dec. 29, Payne scored 16 points on 5-of-6 shooting -- including 2-of-3 from three-point range and 4-of-4 from the free-throw line -- while adding three rebounds and an assist in just 15:44 during a win over Milwaukee. He went on to record a season-high 17 points with seven assists, three rebounds and a steal in his lone start Apr. 12 against San Antonio, the final game of the regular season. Payne also played in in two games for the D-League's Oklahoma City Blue, averaging 23.5 points with 3.0 threes, 3.5 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 2.0 steals. He returned to the NBA level in plenty of time to make 10 appearances during Oklahoma City's run to the Western Conference Finals, averaging 1.8 points across 6.4 minutes per game. He dished out five assists in Game 1 of the second round against the Spurs.

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Transaction History
  • June 25, 2015
    Drafted by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 1st round (14th pick) of the 2015 NBA Draft.
  • July 10, 2015
    Signed a multi-year contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder
  • December 5, 2015
    Assigned to the Oklahoma City Blue of the G-League.
  • December 6, 2015
    Recalled from the Oklahoma City Blue of the G-League.
  • December 15, 2015
    Assigned to the Oklahoma City Blue of the G-League.
  • December 16, 2015
    Recalled from the Oklahoma City Blue of the G-League.
  • January 1, 2017
    Assigned to the Oklahoma City Blue of the G-League.
  • January 7, 2017
    Recalled from the Oklahoma City Blue of the G-League.
  • February 23, 2017
    Traded by the Oklahoma City Thunder with Joffrey Lauvergne and Anthony Morrow to the Chicago Bulls for Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott and a 2018 2nd round draft pick (Mitchell Robinson was later selected).
  • March 20, 2017
    Assigned to the Windy City Bulls of the G-League.
  • March 22, 2017
    Recalled from the Windy City Bulls of the G-League.
  • March 23, 2017
    Assigned to the Windy City Bulls of the G-League.
  • March 24, 2017
    Recalled from the Windy City Bulls of the G-League.
  • March 28, 2017
    Assigned to the Windy City Bulls of the G-League.
  • March 29, 2017
    Recalled from the Windy City Bulls of the G-League.
  • February 5, 2018
    Assigned to the Windy City Bulls of the G-League.
  • February 13, 2018
    Recalled from the Windy City Bulls of the G-League.
  • January 3, 2019
    Waived by the Chicago Bulls.
  • January 6, 2019
    Signed a 10-day contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
  • January 16, 2019
    Signed a 2nd 10-day contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
  • July 24, 2019
    Signed as a free agent with the Toronto Raptors.
  • October 19, 2019
    Waived by the Toronto Raptors.
  • June 30, 2020
    Signed a two-year contract with the Phoenix Suns.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2015
Payne's 2018-19 campaign was certainly one to forget. After making 31 appearances (12 starts) with the Bulls to start the season, he was waived in January. Shortly after, he signed a pair of 10-day contracts with the Cavaliers but wasn't kept around for the rest of the season, and with that, his fourth NBA season had reached its conclusion. Across his 40 total appearances, Payne averaged 6.3 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists across 17.8 minutes per game while shooting a career-low 29.8 percent from three. He will look to get a fresh start in 2019-20 with the Raptors after signing a two-year deal with the defending champs. However, barring injury to either Kyle Lowry or Fred VanVleet, opportunities will certainly be hard to come by for Payne this season. That said, given that Lowry rarely ever plays a full season and VanVleet is coming off an injury-plagued campaign of his own, Payne should sparingly have the chance to log some backcourt minutes this coming season. But overall, he doesn't carry much value in terms of his likely production.
Injuries have slowed Payne’s development through his first three campaigns. However, the former 14th overall pick was able to start 14 games for the Bulls last season, averaging 9.4 points, 5.6 assists and 3.3 rebounds across 26.5 minutes in that role. That said, with Kris Dunn a lock to start at point guard, Payne will probably be limited to exclusively a bench role this season, where he averaged 8.1 points, 3.2 assists and 2.1 rebounds during 2017-18. Efficiency remains a problem for the Murray State product, as he’s yet to shoot over 41 percent in a season. Until that aspect of his game sees improvement, Payne will probably only have Fantasy value in deeper points formats, including DFS.
Payne opened the 2016-17 season with the Thunder, but missed a large chunk early on while recovering from a pair of fractures in his right foot. After playing just 20 games in Oklahoma City, he was eventually dealt to Chicago at the trade deadline, although that didn't help his value as a Fantasy commodity considering the presence of both Rajon Rondo and Jerian Grant. Payne ended up taking part in just 11 games with Chicago, averaging a meager 4.9 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists across 12.9 minutes. Moving forward to the 2017-18 season, Rondo is no longer in the fold at point guard, but the Bulls brought over Kris Dunn in the Jimmy Butler trade. Dunn is currently the favorite to start at point guard and Grant is still around as well, which means Payne will likely be buried once again. Unless an injury occurs, Payne should be nothing more than the team's third point guard, though there's always a chance he unseats Grant for the backup role with a strong training camp.
Payne was the Thunder's first-round pick this offseason, taken with the 14th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. As a sophomore point guard at Murray State last season, he averaged 20.2 points, 6.0 assists, 3.7 rebounds, 2.0 steals, and 0.5 blocks in 32 minutes per game. Payne is 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds, a below-average size in the NBA, but boasts a wingspan of 6-foot-7 inches, which should help make up for his lack of height on defense. Although he has a thin frame and isn't a high flier, Payne is an intelligent point guard with excellent passing skills. During a pre-draft workout with the Nuggets, Payne fractured his ring finger and was not able to participate in the Las Vegas Summer League. He needs to expand his range out to the NBA line, as he shot 45 percent from the field and 35 percent from three. He's expected to be healthy for training camp, so we'll get a look at him in preseason, but Payne's rookie season will likely be spent in the D-League and playing spot minutes as the third-string point guard behind Russell Westbrook and D.J. Augustin.
More Fantasy News
Starting Sunday
GPhoenix Suns
May 16, 2021
Payne will start Sunday's game against the Spurs.
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Provides spark from bench
GPhoenix Suns
May 14, 2021
Payne tallied 21 points (8-12 FG, 3-3 3Pt, 2-2 FT), six rebounds, five assists, a steal and a blocked shot across 27 minutes in Thursday's 118-117 win over the Trail Blazers.
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Leads team in scoring from bench
GPhoenix Suns
May 10, 2021
Payne produced 24 points (9-10 FG, 4-5 3Pt, 2-2 FT) and a rebound across 20 minutes in Sunday's 123-110 loss to the Lakers.
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Collects five assists in return
GPhoenix Suns
May 4, 2021
Payne scored six points (3-5 FG, 0-2 3Pt) with five assists and two rebounds in a 134-118 victory over the Cavaliers on Tuesday.
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Cleared to play
GPhoenix Suns
May 4, 2021
Payne (knee) will play Tuesday against the Cavs.
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