Thunder's Cameron Payne opts for no surgery, will be re-evaluated in 6-8 weeks
If the bone doesn't heal properly, he'll probably have surgery
The Oklahoma City Thunder are very high on backup point guard Cameron Payne. When they failed to make the playoffs in 2014-15 because Kevin Durant missed most of the season with a broken foot, it afforded them a pick at the end of the lottery, which they used to scoop up Payne for some backcourt depth. He had solid moments as a rookie, but also wasn't someone who was entirely trusted to run the team when Russell Westbrook wasn't in the game.
Going into his second season and with Durant gone, it was assumed we might see a jump from Payne in both minutes and role. However, if that's going to be the case, we're going to have to wait at least 6-8 weeks to see it. Payne broke his right foot last week and has decided against surgery after talking options with multiple specialists. He's going to be re-evaluated in 6-8 weeks, but if the bone doesn't heal properly or there's a setback, we may see surgery as an option for Payne and the Thunder. From the Norman Script:
"Over the last several days, Cameron has had consultations with multiple specialists to determine the best course of action to treat his right foot injury," Presti's statement reads. "Based on these consultations and the options provided, Cameron has chosen to pursue a non-surgical route provided by the physicians that is intended to ideally allow the bone to heal on its own and avoid surgery.
"Cameron, his representatives, and the Thunder fully understand that if the bone is not healing appropriately, or if at any point there is a setback in his return to play, surgery may still be required. He will be re-evaluated in 6-8 weeks."
Payne played 12.2 minutes per game as a rookie in 57 games and even started a game. He averaged 5 points, 1.9 assists, and 1.5 rebounds in that time on the court. His shooting accuracy was a bit disappointing with 41 percent from the field and 32.4 percent from 3-point range. A lot of the field goal percentage struggles happened at the rim, where he made just 47.2 percent of his shots within three feet of the hoop.
He showed a consistent jumper inside the 3-point line though, shooting 50 percent from 16-23 feet, which at least gave us a glimpse into his ability to knock down jumpers. The idea of extending that to 3-point range in the coming years isn't crazy, and he was a solid enough 3-point shooter in his two years at Murray State (35.9 percent).
For now, the Thunder just have to hope there aren't any setbacks and Payne can get back on the court within the next two months. Until then, Ronnie Price will be their backup point guard and you can probably expect to see a little point guard from Victor Oladipo, which he did in their preseason game against Real Madrid.
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