A potential veteran point guard has just become available, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The San Antonio Spurs have waived Cam Payne after being acquired via a trade with the Phoenix Suns in July. Now a free agent with his choice of places to go, could the Charlotte Hornets make room on their roster for the eight-year veteran?
When looking at the roster of the Hornets as things currently stand, there is one point guard who is a clear candidate to be replaced should Charlotte find a way to land Payne, Frank Ntilikina. Ntilkina was once a promising draft selection of the New York Knicks but has now found himself on the bottom end of the depth chart of a middling at-best Hornets team. Should Payne decide to come to Charlotte, Ntilikina is the obvious candidate to be removed from the equation as the Hornets’ veteran guard off the bench.
There is one obstacle standing in Charlotte’s way of landing the former Thunder, Bulls, Cavaliers, and Suns guard. Wojonarowski’s report mentions that San Antonio is waiving Payne so he can find a bigger role on a contending team. Charlotte would provide a larger role as there is nobody worth giving extended playing time to behind LaMelo Ball, but the contending part is where things fall apart. The Hornets are not currently in a position to be considered a contending team, which is why Payne is more likely to sign with a different team.
Even though the Hornets do not appear to be a likely team to land Payne’s services, that should not stop them from pursuing him by any means. Charlotte is not in a position where to pass on talent in favor of what they have on their bench. Add talent and sort the rest out later. Even if that means signing Payne and trading him later in the year to the contending team he was let go to pursue, so be it. That may be the only way that Payne ends up in Charlotte anyway.