What are the odds Cameron Payne makes the Toronto Raptors roster?

Cameron Payne (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
Cameron Payne (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors signed point guard Cameron Payne to a partially guaranteed contract this summer. What are the odds he makes the final roster?

The Toronto Raptors currently have 19 players on their training camp roster (one less than the maximum allowable of 20). By October 21st, that number will be cut to just 15, with two potential G-League slots as well.  Unfortunately, that means a few players will be cut.

One of the fringe options is 25-year-old point guard Cameron Payne. Payne is a former lottery selection of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who is now on his third team of 2019. He hasn’t been a productive player to this point in his career. However, he has shown flashes of potential. Potential the Raptors are hoping they can bring out of him.

But with guaranteed money of just $150,000, Payne is far from a sure thing to make the opening day roster. So what are his chances?

How many spots are available?

Of the Raptors 19 training camp invitees, 12 have fully guaranteed contracts. All 12 players should make the opening day roster. However, there are a few names with an extremely high, but non-100 percent chance.

The two names to watch out for are one-year deals Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Terence Davis. Both players are on one-year deals and are either making the minimum or just above that. Davis has a slightly higher chance of being cut than Hollis-Jefferson, but both players individually have a 95-plus-percent chance. It would be somewhat shocking if either player were cut.

So that leaves three spots for seven players.

Who are the candidates

The Raptors have four players with partially guaranteed contracts and three with non-guaranteed deals. The four players with partially guaranteed contracts are Dewan Hernandez ($500,000), Cameron Payne ($150,000), Malcolm Miller ($150,000), and Chris Boucher ($125,000).

Toronto just used draft capital and part of their mid-level exception to sign Dewan Hernandez to a multi-year deal. It’s not impossible for him to be cut, although it’s extremely unlikely. For the time being, it’s safe to pencil him into one of the available spots.

The three non-guaranteed deals are Devin Robinson, Oshae Brisset, and Sagaba Konate. Konate and Brisset are signed to what’s called Exhibit-10 minimums. Exhibit-10 contracts are deals which can be converted to a two-way contract at the team’s discretion. It’s extremely likely both Konate and Brisset will be the team’s two two-way options. If they have an incredible camp they could receive a full contract, but it’s a longshot.

If we accept Brisset and Konate will be the team’s two-way candidates, that leaves four players for two spots.

What the team needs

When determining the final roster spot, what the team actually needs is just as important as who has the most NBA-talent. With the assumptions we’ve currently made, the Raptors roster looks like this:

Obviously, there is some fluidity in the above depth-chart, as almost every player will play multiple positions throughout the season.

The one area which looks notably weak at the moment is point guard. Patrick McCaw and Terence Davis might be able to spend some time there, but if something were to *knocks on wood* happen to Fred VanVleet or Kyle Lowry, would you feel comfortable with them playing 15 minutes a night there?

Cameron Payne being a traditional point guard is a major advantage.

Two spots four players

Personally, I’m the lowest on Payne of all four players. Throughout his career, he’s been an inefficient scorer, a mediocre passer, and has produced horrific on/off metrics. Just last season he was cut from the Chicago Bulls despite having a fully guaranteed contract. The Bulls didn’t think he was worth a roster spot.

But he has the highest guaranteed money of all four players (even if it’s a slim margin), has the most NBA experience of all four players, and most importantly, plays a position of need. Right now, it’s Payne’s roster spot to lose. He just needs to not lose it.

Overall odds: 75-percent

Next. Grading every Raptors move this offseason. dark

Of course, he could still lose it. Or if two of Boucher, Miller, and Robinson have a monster camp, it could be taken from him.

Cameron Payne is in a good position to earn a final roster spot.  Now, he just needs to go earn it.