NBA PM: Losers Of The 2017 NBA Draft
The journey for former Michigan State star Adreian Payne has been something however magical, after a powerful four-year run with the Spartans within the NCAA, Payne was anticipated to be one of many higher gamers within the 2014 NBA Draft. The Atlanta Hawks chosen him with the 15th general choose that 12 months however he has struggled to search out the identical magic within the NBA that he had in school. Payne discovered little taking part in time in Atlanta and was in the end traded to Minnesota, the place he discovered a lot of the identical.
In the free agent course of this summer time, Payne was drawn to the Orlando Magic. The membership signed him to a two-way contract that will have him sharing time between the primary NBA crew and the Magic’s new G-League Team in Lakeland, Florida.
“I was just really excited that they were interested in me, and they see a future with me in it,” Payne advised Basketball Insiders. “That’s the main thing, just, them having that same image, and that passion and they believe in me, so I just was just thankful and grateful for this situation.”
Despite 4 seasons within the NBA, Payne has logged minutes in simply 102 video games, averaging lower than 14 minutes in these video games.
“I haven’t really gotten a chance to play the whole time I’ve been in the NBA,” Payne mentioned of his alternative with the Magic. “Being able to spend some time down in the G-League, to work on my game, to get better, to just be able to become a better person and a better player, on the court and off the court. I think it is going to help me grow, and then when I get called up and be able to play with the Magic team, I’ll be that Adreian that I was when I was in college.”
Payne understands that he’s carrying some baggage from his earlier stops, baggage he hopes he can put behind him.
“It’s hard, but at the same time… I love the game of basketball, so if I got to go overseas, if I got to, play in the G-League, if I got to be on a two-way contract, then that’s what I got to do,” Payne mentioned. “That’s what I really like doing is taking part in basketball, so on the finish of the day, I’m taking part in basketball, I haven’t actually performed, to me in my eyes, I haven’t performed since I’ve been out of school. So, I believe this an amazing alternative, I’m simply blissful to have the ability to get on the market on the courtroom and placed on a jersey and play in entrance of followers. I believe my followers and my circle and individuals who’ve been ready for me to have the ability to play.
“I’ve been excited, and I’ve been ready to play, I’ve always been working, you know, my fans and people that have seen it, I just put in the work, so I’m thankful and grateful for this opportunity. I’m going to be able to be on the Lakeland team, get to work on my game, and be coached.”
People who’ve been round Payne this season rave about his depth and his focus. Payne developed a fame of getting a questionable basketball IQ, nevertheless, staffers across the Magic countered that he simply realized just a little in another way and that he has been an surprising gem for them.
“I think that this is the first organization to ever, really, to have a plan for me,” Payne confided. “I don’t suppose I’ve had a plan anyplace else. I believe that is the primary group that took that, and sat with me and my agent and made a plan. My previous historical past says if we make a plan, I’m going to execute it, and it’s as much as me. If I don’t do it, it’s on me, no one else.
“It’s definitely been hard, just going through everything I’ve been through. You know I was drafted high, then didn’t get to play. Was on a winning team, that was great. Got to meet some outstanding veterans, Kyle Korver, DeMarre Carroll, Jeff Teague, a lot of players. I’m definitely better. Definitely a better person, better player.”
For a participant with such excessive expectations four-years in the past, Payne’s journey has been humbling for certain.
“I think I’ll always be humble,” Payne mentioned with a smile. “I believe, individuals could have thought that I wasn’t humble… I’m nonetheless assured; I’m by no means going to lose my confidence, that’s why I’m nonetheless taking part in, that’s why I’m nonetheless on this place. Most individuals, you understand, they might have given up by now, however, I’m assured within the scenario.
“I’m positively nonetheless assured; I’m simply grateful for the chance. I’m nonetheless right here, and I haven’t acquired to play, I haven’t acquired an opportunity to play, so, like I mentioned, it’s been three years, I haven’t actually performed since I’ve been out of school.
“I’ve put in the work, and I’m confident in what I can do on the court, and I’m grateful that the organization has given me the opportunity, given me a layout of what they want to do with me and my talent, and what they have planned for me. So, I’m just trying to come out, continue to put in the work and show my talent, and show the work I’ve put in.”
By approach of the two-way contract Payne goes to get an opportunity to play a giant position in G-League, but in addition get to spend so much of time with the primary crew, coaches and gamers. He could not log many NBA minutes this season, however the Magic don’t view him as a rental sort participant. The hope is he can blossom into one thing important for them, and that’s all Payne actually wished in free company, an opportunity to play for a crew that wished him as a lot as he wished them.