Bulls exercise options on Payne, four others

Bulls guard Cameron Payne is still out with a foot injury.

The Chicago Bulls have exercised the fourth-year team option on injured point guard Cameron Payne, according to a report from The Vertical.

Payne underwent surgery on his right foot in August, the third procedure he’s had since 2016 when he first suffered the Jones fracture.

The Bulls acquired Payne last season from the Oklahoma City Thunder. In 11 games with Chicago, Payne averaged an underwhelming 4.9 points and 1.4 assists on 33.3 percent shooting from the field.

Chicago’s front office of Gar Forman and John Paxson called Payne the future point guard of the franchise when they traded for him. The 23-year-old often looked lost on the court when he was asked to run the offense and failed to silence any critics with a disappointing summer league that was highlighted by him tripping over his own foot.

As the Chicago Tribune reports, the Bulls internally still believe Payne can have a positive impact on the team moving forward.

The Bulls also exercised third-year options on guards Kris Dunn and Denzel Valentine, and fourth-year options on guard Jerian Grant and forward Bobby Portis.

By exercising their options, all players will be under contract with the Bulls for the 2018-19 season.

Portis is still serving his eight-game suspension for punching Nikola Mirotic in the face at practice last week.