Payne produced eight points (3-9 FG, 2-5 3Pt), five assists and three rebounds in 25 minutes during Thursday's 111-110 victory over Memphis.
Payne could be in line for some additional playing time with Kriss Dunn leaving the game early with a toe sprain. There is no word yet on the severity of the injury, however, given the Bulls position in the standings, there is a good chance they play it safe with Dunn. While this doesn't make Payne a must-own player, he could be a nice source of three-pointers, steals, and assists in many leagues.
Payne scored 17 points (6-10 FG, 4-6 3Pt, 1-1 FT) to go along with two steals and one rebound across 23 minutes during Friday's 99-83 loss to the Pistons.
Payne received his largest allotment of minutes this season due to the lopsided nature of the game and led the team in scoring thanks to a strong showing from beyond the arc. The third-year guard continues to come off the bench behind Kris Dunn, limiting his usage on most nights, but games like this could occur down the stretch as a developmental Bulls squad continues to take their lumps.
Payne scored seven points (3-9 FG, 1-5 3PT) to go with two rebounds and seven assists in 20 minutes during Thursday's 116-115 loss to Philadelphia.
Aside from his seven points, Payne did dish out seven assists in his 20 minute, season debut on Thursday. As Chicago makes lineup changes, the guard could see a good amount of playing time as the season winds to a close. For Payne, any increase in playing time would be a jump after averaging 13.3 minutes in 2-plus seasons in the league. As a result of Payne's extended playing time, Jerian Grant's minutes will likely diminish.
Payne (foot) has been cleared to make his debut during Thursday's game against the 76ers, Madeline Kenney of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Payne underwent surgery on his right foot back in September, but appears finally healthy and ready to make his season debut Thursday following three successful outings in the G-League. The Bulls announced earlier this week that Payne is expected to serve as Kris Dunn's backup at point guard, with Jerian Grant being dropped from the rotation altogether. Payne likely isn't going to provide intriguing fantasy value as a backup and he'll need some time to get back into game shape, so he can safely be avoided for the time being.
Payne is yet to play an NBA game this season while working back from foot surgery, but he completed a three-game stint with the Windy City Bulls before the All-Star break and is expected to be available in short order. It's unclear if Payne will be cleared for Thursday's matchup with the Sixers, but all signs point to him taking over as the backup to Kris Dunn sometime in the next week or two. Consequently, coach Fred Hoiberg announced Tuesday that Jerian Grant will not be a part of the regular rotation. The Bulls will also start Cristiano Felicio over Robin Lopez going forward, as the team shifts its focus toward draft positioning.
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