Phoenix Suns sign 2015 1st-round pick G Cameron Payne

Jun 30, 2020, 4:31 PM | Updated: Jul 1, 2020, 1:54 pm
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 04: Cameron Payne #22 of the Chicago Bulls dribbles the ball against th...
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 04: Cameron Payne #22 of the Chicago Bulls dribbles the ball against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on December 4, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns have signed 2015 first-round pick Cameron Payne, the team announced Tuesday.

The deal is for two years, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, who first reported the agreement.

Over 153 career NBA games, Payne is averaging 6.0 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game, shooting 39.7% from the field.

Payne was picked 14th overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2015 NBA Draft. He struggled to carve out a role and remain consistent with the Thunder, who traded him to the Chicago Bulls at the 2017 trade deadline in a package for Doug McDermott and Taj Gibson.

He also couldn’t get anything going in Chicago. Payne was waived by the Bulls in January of last year and played out the rest of the season with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Toronto Raptors signed Payne to the team’s training camp but he did not make the final roster and was not on an NBA team during the 2019-20 season.

Payne signed with the Chinese Basketball Association’s Shanxi Loongs in late November and moved on from the CBA in early January. He wound up back in the NBA landscape, playing with the G League’s Texas Legends before the season was paused due to the coronavirus.

The Suns have two roster spots available to use before the league’s transaction window closes on Tuesday night at 9 p.m. for all teams. Payne will presumably take the 15-man roster spot open while the Suns still have an open two-way position they can fill after waiving Jared Harper.

Payne will have to compete with the likes of Jevon Carter, Elie Okobo, Ty Jerome and Jalen Lecque for backup point guard minutes behind Ricky Rubio, a busy group even if the Suns were to be eliminated from the playoffs and sit some key players.

Mandatory individual workouts begin for the Suns on Wednesday and the team will depart for Orlando on July 7. They start the season on July 31 against the Washington Wizards.

Penguin Air

Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges, left, celebrates with forward Cameron Johnson (23) during the s...
Kellan Olson

The Twins: Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson are Phoenix Suns’ heart and soul

Inside the bond between Phoenix Suns forwards Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson that makes them known as The Twins.
14 hours ago
Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92's Victor Wembanyama stretches during a team practice Monday, Oc...
Associated Press

Vegas hosts top prospect Victor Wembanyama, Suns-Lakers this week

Two games for top prospect Victor Wembanyama and two NBA preseason games will be held in the Las Vegas area this week.
14 hours ago
Al McCoy honored as a gold circle member of the Rocky Mountain Emmys on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022. (Ph...
Arizona Sports

Voice of the Suns Al McCoy honored by Rocky Mountain Emmys

Phoenix Suns play-by-play man Al McCoy on Friday was honored by being inducted to the gold circle of the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter.
2 days ago
Adelaide 36ers' Craig Randall II (12) celebrates back to back three pointers against the Phoenix Su...
Kellan Olson

Suns shockingly upset by NBL’s Adelaide 36ers in preseason opener

Well, take what you want from it, but the Suns' 134-124 loss to the Adelaide 36ers in the preseason opener was undeniably shocking.
2 days ago
(Twitter photo/@LWashingtonTV)...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns’ open practice draws terrific turnout north of 10,000 fans

The Phoenix Suns' open practice at Footprint Center on Saturday drew well north of 10,000 fans, a huge jump in attendance from the year prior.
4 days ago
Josh Okogie #2 of the Phoenix Suns poses for a portrait during NBA media day at Events On Jackson o...
Kellan Olson

Suns G Josh Okogie to be reevaluated in 2 weeks due to hamstring strain

Suns guard Josh Okogie has been limited in training camp due to a left hamstring strain and will be reevaluated in two weeks, per the team.
5 days ago
Phoenix Suns sign 2015 1st-round pick G Cameron Payne