Report: Cameron Payne linked to Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks

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Although it didn’t come in the way they’d hoped it would, the Miami Heat gained some clarity about their roster for the 2023-24 season on Wednesday.

The Portland Trail Blazers agreed to send Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks in a blockbuster deal, ending any chance of the Heat acquiring the star guard.

Now, the Heat are exploring other options, and it sounds like free agent Cameron Payne may be one of them.

“The Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat are among the teams to keep an eye on for free agent guard Cameron Payne, league sources told HoopsHype,” wrote NBA insider Michael Scotto.

Payne is one of the better free agents still on the board this offseason. The former lottery pick certainly has what it takes to help a contending team, and he’d presumably love to sign somewhere before the season begins in October.

Last season, the 29-year-old averaged 10.3 points, 2.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game while shooting 41.5 percent from the field and 36.8 percent from deep. He spent the year with the Phoenix Suns, getting 15 starts across 48 appearances in the regular season.

Payne also had a huge game in the playoffs against the Denver Nuggets, dropping 31 points in a contest the Suns ultimately lost. His 31 points came on 12-for-16 shooting from the field and 7-for-9 shooting from deep.

The Heat have already made some roster adjustments following the Lillard news as they look to prepare for the start of the season.

It’s also not too late for the team to make a big splash via trade, as there are other options out there beyond Lillard. Jrue Holiday, a key part of the Lillard blockbuster, is a player the Heat have been linked to, giving folks in South Florida a new star to keep an eye on.

The market for Payne will be interesting to monitor moving forward. The fact that the Heat and Bucks are potentially both interested in him is certainly notable given the fact that Milwaukee just stole away Miami’s top trade target.

Regardless of what their roster looks like, the Heat will enter the 2023-24 season with hopes of making another deep playoff run, as they’ve earned a reputation of exceeding expectations. Less than a month remains before Miami’s opening game.

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Jason has covered the NBA for multiple years and has plenty of memories involving the Miami Heat. He expects there will be winning basketball in South Florida for years to come.