Orlando Magic point guard Elfrid Payton insists he doesn’t worry about the upcoming NBA trade deadline and tries not to get swept up in the rumors that inundate social media. “I always feel like God’s got me, so whatever happens, it was meant to happen,” Payton said when asked if he ever worries about what might happen before the deadline. “Whatever is for me, is for me. So it doesn’t concern me at all. As long as I’m here [with the Magic], I’ll give 100 percent here until they say it’s time to go or whatever.” The deadline will expire Thursday at 3 p.m. Eastern. What the Magic do — or don’t do — with Payton before the deadline is one of the team’s biggest storylines to watch over the next few days. Now in his fourth season, Payton has not lived up to the expectations that came with being the 10th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft out of Louisiana-Lafayette. Originally projected by the Magic’s prior front-office regime as a potential defensive standout, Payton has been a liability on the defensive end of the floor for most of his professional career, despite his lengthy 6-foot-4 frame. To be sure, the Magic have been awful defensively most of the season. Through Saturday, the team ranked 27th in the NBA in points allowed per possession and 28th in field-goal percentage defense. So there’s plenty of blame to go around. But Payton’s defense at the point of attack has been a recurring issue. Statistically, Payton has made significant strides on offense this season. He has improved his 3-point shooting to a career-high 37.9 percent and his overall shooting to a career-high 52.0 percent. He’s made better decisions on when to drive to the rim.
Elfrid Payton says he doesn’t worry about the upcoming NBA trade deadline
Orlando Sentinel | Feb 6