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The Miluwakee Bucks reportedly signed veteran guard Cameron Payne to a one-year deal on Sunday, per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.
Payne, 29, spent the 2022-23 season with the Phoenix Suns, averaging 10.3 points and 4.5 assists in 48 games (15 starts).
Payne missed a major chunk of the 2022-23 season as he dealt with foot issues, but when healthy was an important backcourt depth piece for the Suns. The team traded him to the San Antonio Spurs in June, however, and he was waived in September, putting him on the free-agent market.
That freed up the Bucks to add him as they continue to reshape their backcourt. After a slow start to his career, Payne found his footing with the Suns, averaging double-digit points in three of his four seasons in the desert.
The addition of Damian Lillard earlier this week was one of the biggest moves of the offseason, creating a one-two punch with Giannis Antetokounmpo that is arguably the best in the league.
Khris Middleton is no chopped liver as the third scorer, while the Bucks have a strong supporting cast in Brook Lopez, Bobby Portis, Malik Beasley, Pat Connaughton and Payne, who should handle the backup point guard minutes behind Dame.
The Bucks and Boston Celtics appear to be the class of the Eastern Conference after the latter side landed former Milwaukee point guard Jrue Holiday in a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Miami Heat may have something to say about the presumed two-team race after reaching the NBA Finals last season, while the Philadelphia 76ers remain mired in uncertainty given the ongoing James Harden saga.
But the Bucks have to feel very good about their offseason. Lillard was the big fish, but Payne offers them a solid contributor off the bench.
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