A player who once opposed the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2021 NBA Finals as a member of the Phoenix Suns is now a member of that team. Cameron Payne, who the Phoenix Suns traded to San Antonio this off-season for draft capital, was waived in September by the Spurs. He has now found a home playing in Milwaukee.
Cameron Payne spent four seasons in the Valley, averaging 9.8 points and 4.5 assists in 20.2 minutes played. CP15 was a valuable member of the organization who inspired crowds, penetrated opposing defenses with his quick-twitch abilities, and put up Leandro Barbosa-esque high-degree-of-difficulty shots.
Payne had his fair share of challenges over the past two seasons. Multiple lower extremity injuries negated his effectiveness; when speed is your calling card, you need to have your wheels working. Did he have his challenges while in Phoenix? Absolutely. Like another former teammate, who the Suns just traded away – Deandre Ayton – he peaked in the 2021 postseason run for Phoenix.
As James Jones flipped the roster, Payne was one of the players who he chose to move one from, even if it wasn’t necessarily needed.
The Bucks have been highly active prior to the start of the season. They were involved in the massive Damian Lillard trade, which sent two-time All Star guard Jrue Holiday – who has since been traded to the Boston Celtics – along with some picks to the Portland Trail Blazers. The Suns netted Grayson Allen in the deal. The loss of Allen opened the opportunity to add another guard behind Lillard.
He will not be the only member of the 2021 Suns team that faced Milwaukee in the NBA Finals to play for the team that beat them. Cam Payne will be welcomed to the locker room by former disgruntled forward Jae Crowder.