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Bulls’ Cameron Payne is sidelined for 3-4 months after surgery

The Cameron Payne experiment continued its downward spiral Friday.

The Bulls announced that Payne had surgery on his broken right foot Wednesday by Dr. Johnny Lin, and wouldn’t be making a return to the court for the next three to four months.

The exact process for his return involved remaining in a splint for the next 7-10 days, followed by a boot for 6-8 weeks.

In other words, there goes the player who was once appointed by the front office as the “point guard of the future.’’

Chicago Bulls' Cameron Payne gets a pass during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, in Chicago. | Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

The Bulls sent both Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott to Oklahoma City at last year’s trade deadline for a package that was supposed to be highlighted by Payne.

It was apparent very quickly, however, that Payne wasn’t even able to handle being the point guard of the present, only seeing action in 11 games and inactive most of the postseason.

The Sun-Times reported last week that despite general manager Gar Forman’s public insistence that Payne was a good get from the Thunder, he was in the minority with that opinion.

“We knew the second practice [after he was acquired] that [Payne] couldn’t play at [an NBA] level,’’ a source said. “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.’’

According to the Bulls, Payne suffered a fracture on July 18 to the same right foot that he broke during the 2015-16 season, and when the walking boot didn’t fix the problem, the decision was made to schedule the surgery.

Follow me on Twitter @suntimes_hoops.

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com


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