The breakout star of NBA Draft week, Cameron Payne, found himself in a unique position when the Oklahoma City Thunder selected him with the 14th pick on Thursday night. He was taken by a team that should contend for a championship next season despite missing the playoffs altogether this spring, but may not get much of a chance to showcase his playmaking skills early on.
“I was shocked they picked me,” Payne said. “I was thinking I was going to go earlier, but man, God put me in the perfect fit. Everything happened for a reason.”
Payne told RealGM on Wednesday that he loves to play with the ball in his hands.
"I feel my best attribute and the best way for me make my teammates better is me having the ball," Payne said a day before being drafted. "I put people in the perfect position to score; I mean the perfect position. People like playing with me because I can do that and not a lot of people can do that. With the ball, I can set up guys.”
If he spends time on the court alongside Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, Payne is going to have to find another way to make a difference.
“I can be a combo guard. I can be a shooting guard,” Payne said when asked what he’ll bring to the Thunder. “On my team at Murray [State] I really had to score the ball, I was down there on the ball. But anything coach needs me to do, Cameron Payne is going to do it. There’s no way I’m going to be a selfish guy. I’m a point guard, I’m the most unselfish player on the court. If I’m needed to play the two, if I’m need to play the five, I’m going to do it."