The San Antonio Spurs have opted to waive experienced point guard Cam Payne, who had joined the team in the offseason following a trade from the Phoenix Suns.
During the NBA offseason, the San Antonio Spurs were involved in several trade transactions, one of which included acquiring veteran point guard Cam Payne.
Payne, who had been with the Phoenix Suns for the past four seasons, was traded to the Spurs in exchange for a 2024 second-round pick with protections, along with a 2025 second-round pick and cash considerations.
In preparation for the upcoming training camp, the San Antonio Spurs have made a significant decision regarding their roster. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the team chose to release Cam Payne on Monday.
This move allows Payne, aged 29, to become an unrestricted free agent after clearing waivers, with the caveat that he cannot rejoin the Phoenix Suns.
With this newfound freedom, Payne is now in a position to sign with a competitive team, one where he can make valuable contributions as one of the league’s top backup point guards.
Despite a brief absence from the league a few years ago, Payne has since become an essential member of the Suns’ playoff-contending squads over the past couple of seasons.
In the previous season, Payne played a total of 48 games and boasted impressive averages of 10.3 points and 4.5 assists per game.
He also showcased his shooting skills with a 41.5 percent field goal percentage and a 36.8 percent three-point shooting rate. Notably, he came off the bench in 33 of the 48 games he participated in.
The primary reason for the Spurs’ decision to waive Cam Payne is the lack of available roster spots. At the start of Monday, San Antonio had 18 players under contract for the upcoming season.
Additionally, they have promising young talents in the backcourt, such as Malaki Branham and Blake Wesley, competing for increased playing time.
The team had also parted ways with Lamar Stevens, whom they had acquired in a trade during the summer.
While Payne was set to earn $6.5 million in the upcoming season, his release will result in a dead cap hit for the Spurs. However, they did receive $5.6 million from the Suns in their offseason trade.
The second-round pick obtained by San Antonio from Phoenix is the New Orleans Pelicans’ 2025 draft pick, which comes with no protections and will be conveyed to the Spurs.
Following the decision to waive Payne, the organization still faces further roster adjustments.
They must cut or trade two more players before the start of the 2023-24 season. This leaves Khem Birch, Cedi Osman, and Reggie Bullock as the likely veteran players competing for a roster spot as they head into training camp.