Grading every Toronto Raptors move this offseason

Toronto Raptors - Masai Ujiri (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Masai Ujiri (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Cameron Payne (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Signing Cameron Payne

Cameron Payne was another “second draft” player picked up by Masai Ujiri this offseason. Second draft players are prospects taken in the first round a couple of years ago, and who have failed to live up to expectations to this point in their career — Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Stanley Johnson also fit the mold.

But while RHJ and Johnson have shown signs of being a competent NBA player, Payne hasn’t shown the same ability. He was traded by the Oklahoma City Thunder early in his career. Last season, he was waived by the Chicago Bulls despite having a guaranteed contract. Again, the Chicago Bulls did not think he was worth a roster spot.

Payne offers average-ish passing and adequate rebounding at the position while providing little else. He’s not reliable defensively and has consistently been an inefficient scorer. Toronto is hoping that he can become a viable option with an above-average jumper.

With so many projects on the wing and in the post, it seemed odd the Raptors would want to bring in a point guard who also will be experiencing growing pains. Considering the other talent on the roster, having a third point guard who could adequately run the show in case of injury might have been a better play.

It’s only a one-year partially-guaranteed deal, but giving Payne a roster spot actively impacts the development of other players who could be aided by the steady hand of a veteran point guard.

Grade: D+