The NBA career of former Spartan star Adreian Payne took another turn with the former four-year player signing a two-way deal with the Orlando Magic on August 21st.
A two-way contract means Payne will play the majority of the season for Orlando’s G-League team, the Lakeland Magic, but can spend up to 45 days playing and practicing on the Magic roster.
According to reports from pro basketball reporter, David Pick, Payne turned down nearly one million dollars from a team in China to play for the Magic organization.
Source: Adreian Payne and the Orlando Magic are nearing agreement on a deal. He declined a $900K offer from Guangdong in China.— David Pick (@IAmDPick) August 18, 2017
Payne played only 18 games last season for the Minnesota Timberwolves. He struggled with playing time and a two month battle with thrombocytopenia. He averaged 3.5 points per game along with 1.8 rebounds.
The 6’10” 237-pound Payne was the 15th pick in the 2014 draft by the Atlanta Hawks. He was traded to Minnesota in February of his rookie season, and put up his best numbers in the 29 games he played with the Timberwolves his rookie season. He averaged 7.2 points per game with 5.4 rebounds. Minutes and production with Minnesota decreased after that, and Payne looks to be on his last shot with the Magic with this opportunity.
Out of high school, Payne was a five-star recruit that chose the Spartans over offers from Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky and Ohio State amongst others. He struggled during his underclassmen years, but peaked during a strong senior season in which he averaged 16.4 points per game and led Michigan State to a Big Ten Tournament championship and Elite Eight. His 41 points against Delaware in the first round of the NCAA Tournament is the most points scored by a Spartan in a single NCAA Tournament game. He is also still the all-time school leader in blocks with 141.
Here is hoping he makes the best of the opportunity with the Orlando Magic organization.