The Orlando Magic have signed rookie forward Aaron Gordon and rookie guard Elfrid Payton, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today. These signings are standard and were expected, as first round draft picks are guaranteed to receive an NBA contract whenever they decide to begin their career in the league.
Gordon was selected by Orlando in the first round (fourth overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft. Payton was selected by Philadelphia in the first round (tenth overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft. He was then acquired by Orlando in exchange for the draft rights to Dario Saric, a future first round draft pick and a future second round draft pick. Both will participate in the 2014 Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League, taking place at the Magic’s practice court at the Amway Center from July 5-11.
Gordon (6’9”, 225, 9/16/95) played and started in all 38 games during his only season at the University of Arizona, averaging 12.4 ppg., 8.0 rpg., 2.0 apg. and 1.03 blkpg. in 31.2 minpg. He helped the Wildcats to a 33-5 record, a Pac-12 regular season championship and an Elite Eight appearance in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Gordon led Arizona in rebounding (seventh in conference), while ranking second in both scoring and blocked shots (11th in conference).
Gordon was named First Team All-Pac-12 and the 2013-14 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year. Gordon also earned Third Team All-American honors by The Sporting News and Honorable Mention by The Associated Press. He was one of six finalists for the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Year Award.
Payton (6’3”, 190, 2/22/94) played in 100 career games during three years at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, averaging 14.3 ppg., 5.1 rpg., 4.9 apg. and 1.97 stlpg. in 31.6 minpg. He is the school’s all-time leader in steals with 197.
As a junior (2013-14), Payton played and started all 35 games, averaging a team-high 19.2 ppg., 6.0 rpg., 5.9 apg. and 2.29 stlpg. in 35.9 minpg., while shooting .509 (237-466) from the floor. He led the Ragin’ Cajuns to a 23-12 record and their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2005. Payton was named the 2013-14 Lefty Driesell National Defensive Player of the Year and a Lou Henson All-American. He earned First Team All-Sun Belt Conference honors for the second straight season and was the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year. Payton led the conference in steals for the second straight year with 80. He scored 20+ points 14 times, had 30-or-more points four times and attempted a school-record 302 free throws (second in the nation). Payton was also one of only ten NCAA Division I players to record a triple-double with 34 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists on Jan. 4 vs. Lousiana-Monroe.
During his sophomore season (2012-13), Payton played and started all 33 games, averaging a team-high 15.9 ppg., 5.6 rpg., 5.5 apg. and 2.42 stlpg. in 35.5 minpg., earning First Team All-Sun Belt Conference honors. He was the only player in NCAA Division I to average 15.0 ppg., 5.0 rpg., 5.0 apg. and 2.00 stlpg. Payton led the Sun Belt Conference in assists and steals, ranked second in minutes played, third in scoring, fifth in assists-to-turnover ratio (1.60) and ninth in field goal percentage (.475).