But Payton doesn’t let the chatter get to him.
“I don’t get caught up in the things like that,” Payton said, according to Spencer Davies of Basketball Insiders.
“Today I’m an Orlando Magic. I play for the Orlando Magic and I’m gonna give them 100 percent of me. I’m somebody that likes to finish what I started, so I definitely would like to see this through and try to turn this organization around.”
It’s no secret that the Magic have struggled this season, but Payton believes that the team can turn things around if everyone steps up.
“Everybody,” Payton said. “I like Vuc [Nikola Vucevic]. I like AG [Aaron Gordon]. Evan [Fournier] is somebody who can fill it up. T Ross [Terrence Ross] is somebody who can fill it up when healthy. I think we have a lot of talent on this team. Even the rookies—Wes [Iwundu] plays well for us in stretches. Jon [Isaac] when he was playing he’d do well.
“You could see the potential there. So I think we have a lot of weapons on this team. I’m very confident in the group we have here. I think we have a lot of talent, we just have to do it.”
Bulls Pulling Jabari Parker from Regular Rotation
The 23-year old Parker came to Chicago via a two-year, $40 million deal during the offseason, and marked a return to his hometown and a chance to re-ignite his career.
Now, it appears certain that the Bulls will decline his option, sending Parker back to free agency next summer.
“Jabari has been great,” Bulls head coach Jim Boylen said, according to Andrews. “He understands. Jabari wants to make it about helping the team win. And that’s what I’ve asked him to do.”
Parker has averaged 15.8 points and 7.1 rebounds for Chicago this season.
Pistons Interested in 76ers’ Markelle Fultz
Detroit is reportedly eyeing a young point guard in preparation for the potential departure of Reggie Jackson via free agency following next season.
The report pointed out that in order to take on Fultz, the Pistons would have to move money around to avoid the luxury tax.
Cavs’ Tristan Thompson Out 2-4 Weeks
Thompson exited Monday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks during the third quarter after he landed awkwardly on the foot of Bucks’ guard Malcolm Brogdon.
Thompson, 27, is averaging 12 points and 11.6 rebounds per game this season for Cleveland.
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