It has been a turbulent offseason for point guard Cameron Payne. After being traded from the Phoenix Suns to the San Antonio Spurs in July, they waived him in September. While Payne is on the market, the coveted veteran will likely sign with a contending team in the upcoming weeks. He has been a terrific backup over the past few seasons and has some big playoff moments on his resume. Having a consistent contributor off the bench like Payne is very beneficial, so these three teams should consider adding him.
Three Teams That Should Consider Signing Cameron Payne
The Bucks have been one of the NBA’s best teams over the last five seasons. Centered around their future Hall-of-Famer Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks have consistently built a well-rounded and deep roster. However, Milwaukee’s squad appears to have a noticeable flaw: the absence of a proven backup point guard.
Currently, the Bucks’ options at backup point guard include A.J. Green, Lindell Wigginton, and TyTy Washington Jr. Collectively, this group has combined for just 1,064 minutes and under 100 games played in the league. These very young two-way guards do still have potential in the NBA. However, it would be in Milwaukee’s best interest to bring in an experienced backup guard to lead their second unit.
Payne’s fit on this Bucks roster would be great. He would add some dependable ball-handling behind Jrue Holiday and efficient perimeter scoring. Even if Payne had to take on more of a spot-up shooting role, he has shown he is effective. He has hit 38.4% of his three-point attempts over the last four seasons.
The Bucks would have to trade or waive a player to make room on their roster to add Payne. Still, they should consider the value he could bring to their team.
While we still patiently wait for the anticipated Damian Lillard trade, the Heat should consider having a backup plan ready if the trade doesn’t occur soon. Even if Lillard is dealt to the Heat, the trade might deplete their depth. So, a dependable backup point guard may still be needed.
The Heat are currently relying heavily on 37-year-old Kyle Lowry, who has had his fair share of injuries over the last couple of seasons. While Lowry can still be an impactful voice in the locker room and be good for some minutes here and there, he will likely not be as dependable as before to be the primary backup point guard on this team.
Aside from Dru Smith, who is on a two-way contract and has bounced back and forth between the NBA and the G League since 2021, the Heat don’t have a true backup point guard on their team.
This creates a very intriguing slot on the Heat’s roster for a player like Payne to fill. He could slide right into the role Gabe Vincent filled last season for Miami and perhaps be better at it. Over the last two seasons, Payne has had a higher box plus/minus and points/assists per possession than Vincent. During their 2023 Finals run, it was apparent how important Vincent was for a team that was sometimes limited offensively.
Payne could almost seamlessly fill that role now that Vincent is with the Los Angeles Lakers and could help provide some much-needed scoring and ball-handling for Miami. If the Heat hope to make another magical playoff run, adding Payne should be a serious consideration.
The Kings have had a relatively calm offseason, mainly focusing on adding depth to their wing positions by acquiring Chris Duarte from the Indiana Pacers and Sasha Vezenkov from overseas. Carrying on their momentum from last season and the steady moves they made this offseason make them a highly-ranked team heading into this season. However, as seen in their first-round series loss against the Golden State Warriors, the Kings still have room for improvement.
One area is their guard depth. In that first-round series against Golden State, we saw how an injury to star point guard De’Aaron Fox derailed the Kings from posing the same offensive attack they had most of last season. While Davion Mitchell is a great perimeter defender and improving offensively, he is more suited as a combo guard than Fox’s primary backup point guard. For this reason, Payne could help push the Kings to be at the top of the West again.
With his ability to shoot the ball, attack the rim and make timely passes, Payne can fit right into the Kings’ high-powered offense. He could carry the load when Fox is off the court and keep Sacramento afloat. While not an elite defender, Payne has shown good lateral quickness and active hands. Paired alongside a player like Mitchell, he could also contribute on the defensive end. Adding a player of Payne’s caliber could help the Kings make a deep playoff run in 2024.