Hello Smash Fans and welcome back to this week’s installment. Today, I want to talk about a player who deserves some recognition. A player who has been asked to play so many different roles for their team. This player is Cameron Payne.
Cameron Payne is one of the best redemption stories the NBA has ever seen. Drafted in the 2015 draft, Payne was brought into OKC in hopes he could be a good complementary piece to Westbrook while also being able to control the second unit while Russell wasn’t on the floor. This did not end up being the case as two years later he would be traded to the Bulls where he played for 2 years. In these two years, he played so bad a Chicago man dubbed Cameron the tank master. After his stint with the Bulls, he’d sign a few 10-day contracts, however, was not able to make a roster. So, in the fall of 2019, Payne signed with the Shanxi Loongs. However, after two games, he was replaced. Payne would then play in the G League with the Texas Legends. There Cameron Payne was hit his stride and just before the pandemic closed down the season Payne was able to get G league player of the week. Then it happened, after more than a year since his last regular-season action, he was given a second chance with Phoenix.
During the bubble, Payne was solid and that solid play would continue into the next season. In this past NBA season, Payne posted per 36-minute averages of 16 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds on good efficiency. However, where Payne really shines has been the playoffs. He set his career-high in points in the first round with 21 and then broke that career-high with 29 last night. Not only that, but Payne’s role has changed multiple times during this playoffs, and he has done an amazing job adjusting and playing brilliantly. Payne was out of the league at this point in time last year and he just scored 29 points with 9 assists and didn’t turn the ball over once, that is an amazing performance for any player and is a signal that Cam Payne is here to stay.
Cameron Payne may never turn out to be an All-Star or even any more than a really good rotational piece, but make no mistake, he turned his career around. Payne has turned the narrative around him from tank master to clutch time player. Cameron has really taken control of his career and now instead of being out of the league before he entered his prime, Cam Payne may play well past his 30th birthday.
Thank you Smash Fans for sticking with me until the end. If you want to talk about this topic or any other topic sports-related, please email me or text me using the information on the contact page. If you want to support me even more, please consider following my Spotify as well as subscribing to my youtube channel and blog for weekly podcasts and articles. Until next time, PD Smash signing off