Cameron Payne was traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Chicago Bulls for Taj Gibson at the NBA trade deadline, and he is now looking to cement his legacy in Chicago. Payne has expressed his desire to be “the guy” for the Bulls even though he is still working to solidify himself as a premier role player.
— The Vertical (@TheVertical) March 9, 2017
Payne’s career averages are 5.1 points, 1.9 assists and 1.5 rebounds per game, but those stats have improved to 6 points, 1.5 assists and 1.3 rebounds per game in his first 6 games with Chicago. Although Payne’s assists and rebounds have decreased, the rise in points in what should be noticed most. As his scoring production increases, he will be receiving more playing time from Fred Hoiberg, which will result in other statistics improving as well.
Even though Payne will continue to be given opportunities to prove he is ready to become an NBA star, his comments about his future with the Bulls should have been kept to himself. For somebody who still has yet to have a breakout season to publicly say he wants to be “the guy” in the same city Michael Jordan played in may have been too much.
These comments may have put a target on Payne’s back, but at least he is showing confidence and that he wants to be a star. Hearing these words are great for Chicago knowing they have somebody who wants to be there even if the comments are not coming from a player they can build around.
— ChicagoSports (@ChicagoSports) March 7, 2017
Even without a large amount of success almost 2 years into his NBA career, Payne still believes he can be great and is going to work for greatness. As the Bulls begin to rebuild for the future, stockpiling players like this is going to be key for Chicago. Payne is going to work hard, and it should begin to show next season.
Although Payne is currently more well-known for his pregame dance moves with Russell Westbrook rather than his production, his potential is still sky-high. Now that he’s free from that nonsense, it could be time the former Murray State star is being unleashed. He can finally focus on his skills and playing rather than the dance moves he will be making before the game.