The Chicago Bulls are sending point guard Cameron Payne to the D-League for a couple of games, practices and general seasoning.
Payne, acquired from Oklahoma City on Feb. 23, has been inactive for the past three games with a sore right foot. He had surgery on that foot last summer and missed the first two months of the season while recovering.
The plan is for Payne to play two games with the Windy City Bulls, if all goes well with his foot. They'll host the Westchester Knicks on Tuesday and Iowa Energy on Thursday at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.
Payne was clearly the key acquisition in the deal that sent Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott to the Thunder. The second-year guard from Murray State has appeared in nine games for the Bulls, and it's too soon to make any sound judgments on his future in the NBA.
Payne, the No. 14 pick in the 2015 draft, played sparingly in Oklahoma City backing up Russell Westbrook, then missed a large part of this season recovering from the foot injury.
The Bulls are hoping Payne will play for their summer-league squad and then show up at training camp ready for a determination on whether he's the point guard of the future.
Payne will be the seventh Bulls player to suit up for the Windy City Bulls this season, joining Denzel Valentine, Bobby Portis, Cristiano Felicio, Paul Zipser, Jerian Grant and R.J. Hunter.
The Windy City Bulls acquired a former Bulls player Monday, small forward Cartier Martin. He logged six games for the Bulls in the 2013-14 season.
Bulls try for dino dozen:
Coach Fred Hoiberg doesn't have an explanation for why the Bulls have won 11 straight games against Toronto. He pointed out the Raptors will have a different look Tuesday when the Bulls visit the Air Canada Centre, since point guard Kyle Lowry is out with a wrist injury and Serge Ibaka was added in a trade.
"I've been really impressed with what (backup point guard) Cory Joseph has brought to that team," Hoiberg said. "Defensively, they've been terrific. They really get up into you, they try to deny and pressure all over the floor. Joseph is a tough, tough kid that can get into the paint and makes plays as well.
"It's a different team with the addition of Ibaka and also getting (P.J.) Tucker (from Phoenix) in the lineup. So it's a different team with a different dynamic."
Rondo explains party snub:
Members of the Boston Celtics 2008 championship team are planning to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their title, and Ray Allen is not invited, according to theundfeated.com.
Bulls guard Rajon Rondo, the point guard on that Celtics squad, explained there are hard feelings about Allen leaving the Celtics to sign with the Miami Heat in 2012.
"I asked a couple of the guys. I got a no, a no head shake," Rondo told theundfeated.com. "It just wasn't the greatest separation. It wasn't the greatest thing that could've happened to us as a team, a bond. We were at war with those (Heat) guys. To go with the enemy, that's unheard of in sports.
"Well, it's not so unheard of. It's darn near common now."