Bulls appear to be moving on from Payne with trade for Pondexter

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On the same day the Bulls finally provided some details on point guard Cameron Payne’s injured right foot, they seem to be moving on from the player acquired at the trade deadline last season.

A team source confirmed a report that the Bulls will acquire guard Quincy Pondexter and a second-round pick from the Pelicans for a second-round pick.

Another source close to the situation explained Thursday why moving on might be best for the -organization.

“We knew the second practice [after he was acquired] that he couldn’t play at [an NBA] level,’’ the source said. “The only reason it took two practices was because we thought maybe it was nerves in the first one.

“Any [Bulls] coach who says differently is lying. . . . We got ‘Garred’ on that one.’’

The source was referring to general manager Gar Forman, who sent Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott to the Thunder for a package that supposedly was highlighted by Payne. The front office even called Payne “the point guard of the future.’’

But it was apparent that Payne couldn’t even be the point guard of the present, playing in only 11 regular-season games.

According to the Bulls, Payne suffered a fracture July 18 to the same foot he broke during the 2015-16 season. When a walking boot didn’t fix the problem, the decision was made to schedule surgery Sept. 6. The Bulls didn’t provide a timetable for his return.

The best-case scenario for the tanking Bulls is Pondexter showing enough during the season that he can be moved for a second-round pick.

Either way, the Bulls are heavy at guard with Payne, Pondexter, Ryan Arcidiacono, Kris Dunn, Jerian Grant and David Nwaba.

NOTES: The Bulls announced that Shawn Respert was named director of player development and Arnold Lee was promoted to assistant athletic trainer.

Windy City Bulls coach Nate Loenser rejoined Fred Hoiberg’s staff. Windy City assistant Charlie Henry will take over the G-League affiliate.

Follow me on Twitter @suntimes_hoops.

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com


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