Bulls point guard Cameron Payne set to make season debut Thursday

SHARE Bulls point guard Cameron Payne set to make season debut Thursday

Cameron Payne is set to make his season debut Thursday. | Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

Bulls point guard Cameron Payne is set to make his season debut Thursday against the 76ers after foot surgery sidelined him for nearly two-thirds of the season. He’ll back up Kris Dunn.

Payne, 23, who had a second surgery on his right foot in September, played three games with the Windy City Bulls before he was recalled last week.


Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg unplugged and going all in on the movie ‘Hoosiers’

Bulls’ final stretch is set to start, and there’s a lot to watch

He showed some promise, averaging 21 points, four assists and four rebounds with the Bulls’ G  League affiliate, but he still has a lot to prove.

Once considered general manager Gar Forman’s “point guard of the future,” Payne only shot 33.3 percent from the field in the 11 games he played for the Bulls last season.

He didn’t look great in the 2017 Summer League, either, going 9-for-26 with seven turnovers in two games before leaving prematurely for personal reasons.

Coach Fred Hoiberg said he wants to see Payne play with confidence but stressed that it’ll take him time to get his conditioning back.

Vice president of basketball operations John Paxson said he has high expectations for Payne, who is the last remaining piece of the Taj Gibson/Doug McDermott trade to the Thunder.

“We want to see him as a point guard, especially when you’re running with that second unit the way Fred wants to play,” Paxson said Tuesday. “His role is to get us into the offense quickly, efficiently and to make the right play with the ball. You don’t want to be a high-turnover guy.”

Follow me on Twitter @madkenney.

Email: mkenney@suntimes.com

The Latest
Sabrina Ionescu and Natasha Howard each had 22 points while Betnijah Laney added 17 points, five rebounds and five assists
The Chicago Park District should focus instead on upgrading Jackson Park and South Shore courses.
The program mentors young adults dealing with gun violence and helps them get their GEDs. They want to show them “you’re worthy, you’re valid, and this is only one of the many things that you will go on to accomplish,” a CRED employee said.
The four boys were on the front porch of a residence in the 7300 block of South Union Avenue when someone fired shots, police said.
The district and teachers’ union have negotiated all summer in hopes of avoiding the contentious battles of the past two years over pandemic safety.