25-year-old Cameron Payne has bounced around the NBA in his short career to date. He’s suited up for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, and now the Phoenix Suns. He has also spent time in the NBA G League with the Oklahoma City Blue, Windy City Bulls, and most recently, the Texas Legends.
After his time with the Cavaliers in 2019, Payne opted to go overseas and joined the Shanxi Loongs of the Chinese Basketball Association. Where he played in 2 games, averaging 22.5 points, 6 rebounds, 7.5 assists, and 4.5 steals. After his short stint abroad he returned to the NBA G League with the Texas Legends. The affiliate team of the Dallas Mavericks.
With the Legends (15 games), he posted averages of 23.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, 8.1 assists, and 2.3 steals. On 48.3% shooting from the field and 36.5% from 3-point land. On February 8, 2020, Payne scored 43 points (70.8% FG) in a 132-105 win over the Iowa Wolves.
His impressive G League performances led to him receiving another opportunity when he signed with the Phoenix Suns on June 30. He penned a two-year-deal and was set to feature in the NBA season resumption in Orlando.
He has certainly grabbed his latest opportunity with both hands, as he’s been a focal point of the Suns’ early success in Orlando. Winning 4 games out of 4.
In his debut with the Suns against the Washington Wizards, the 25-year-old guard filled the stats-sheet with 9 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, and 2 steals. Against the Dallas Mavericks, 10 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, and 1 steal. Whilst taking on the Los Angeles Clippers, 12 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal. In his latest outing against the Indiana Pacers, 15 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal.
Those aren’t ridiculous numbers, but his is playing limited time. The most minutes he’s had on the court is 22, and he’s averaging 20 minutes per contest. Payne is shooting 54.3% from the field, and at an impressive 53.3% rate from downtown.
It is a small sample size, but Cameron Payne is certainly making the most of his latest NBA opportunity, proving why he deserves to be in the league. As the Phoenix Suns are red hot in Orlando, chasing a playoff spot.