Southeast Notes: Pargo, Orton, Payton

Hassan Whiteside has proven a remarkable midseason pickup, scoring 24 points and grabbing 20 rebounds Wednesday to further cement that status, but the Heat haven’t reaped much benefit in the standings. They lost Wednesday’s game to the league-worst Timberwolves and have but a half-game lead on the Nets for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Here’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets aren’t ruling out a reunion with Jannero Pargo later this season once the back injury that led to his release has healed, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com hears (Twitter link). Charlotte waived Pargo on Wednesday to sign Elliot Williams to a 10-day contract.
  • Magic rookie point guard Elfrid Payton has seen action in every game Orlando has played so far, but embattled coach Jacque Vaughn isn’t hesitant to sit him when he proves ineffective at the start, as Ken Hornack of Fox Sports Florida points out. In any case, Payton has shown flashes, but the transition from playing in the NCAA’s Sun Belt Conference last year to the NBA season this time around has proven a challenge, Hornack writes. The Magic gave up the rights to Dario Saric, a future first-rounder, and a second-round pick just to acquire Payton at the draft this past summer.
  • Wizards camp invitee Daniel Orton is joining the Purefoods Star Hotshots of the Philippines, a team official told Richard Dy of Spin.ph. Orton confirmed to Snow Badua of Spin.ph that he’s set to play with the club as soon as a hand injury heals. The four-year NBA veteran had been with the Sichuan Blue Whales of China before their season ended this week.

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