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Chicago Bulls Exercise Team Option on Cameron Payne; Four Others

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next year guarantees for Payne, Grant, Valentine, Portis, Dunn

NBA: Chicago Bulls-Media Day Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bulls apparently believe in Cameron Payne, announcing they’ve picked up the 4th year option on his contract. The deadline to do so was 10/31.

Even after he sustained his second major foot injury in just over a year in early September. Even when he looked unplayable in Las Vegas Summer league. Even though he has averaged five points on 37.8 percent from the field in his two year NBA career. Even though he was the third string point guard with the Oklahoma City Thunder last season.

The Chicago Bulls still believe in Cameron Payne.

Payne is now guaranteed $3,263,294 for next season, a year which they claim to want maximum financial flexibility.

In addition to Payne, the Chicago Bulls also picked up the third-year team options on guards Kris Dunn and Denzel Valentine and the fourth year team options on Jerian Grant and Bobby Portis. All these players will now be under contract for the Bulls for the 2018-2019 season.

( Before everybody reads too much into Portis getting his team option exercised, the Bulls can still choose to trade him. )

These decisions were really just a formality, outside of the Payne one. The Bulls have committed so much in this young core of players, and not picking up the options on any of them would be basically a confession from Gar Forman and John Paxson that drafting/trading for them was a mistake. As we know, accountability isn’t their strong suit so having their actions expose their mistakes isn’t an option.

For now, we have a clearer picture of what this team will look like next season.