With the NBA Draft Lottery behind us, we shift our focus directly to the June 26th NBA Draft. Over the next month we’ll look at some of the top prospects in the draft, along with players that the Magic either reportedly worked out, or interviewed at the NBA Draft Combine. Michigan State senior Adreian Payne is next.
Deciding to return to school for his senior season was a great one for Michigan State’s Adreian Payne. Payne, who finished his junior year strong and could’ve elected to declare for the NBA draft, chose to return to school and continue to work on his game. That decision turned out to be the right one as Payne has shot up draft boards, and could even sneak into the lottery now.
|Minutes||Points||TRB %||Usage %||TS %|
Payne had a roller coaster four years in East Lansing. He played few minutes in his first two seasons and appeared awkward and uncomfortable at times, but he worked hard and proved to be an integral part of the Spartans by his senior season. He was a consistent rebounder, and his efficiency scoring-wise took a big jump after a dreadful freshman year.
|Height w/ shoes||Weight||Wingspan||Standing Reach||Max Vert|
|6’ 9.75”||239||7’ 4”||9’ 1”||N/A|
- Scoring ability
Despite not scoring an extremely high amount, Payne has a very good and wide offensive game. He’s a beast in the post, and has added a three-point shot since his junior season, which has helped expand his game even more. He’s strong running the court, is good as the roll-man in the pick and roll, and is also a good off ball cutter. Adding the three-pointer has not only made Payne a better jump shooter, but it’s also opened up more of a driving game as well when the defense closes out hard.
Payne was able to use his good athleticism to his advantage and be a solid rebounder all four years at Michigan State. While his 5.3 rebounds per game average for his career may not jump off the page, his rebounding percentages help to paint a better picture. He was solid on the offensive glass, finishing his career with a 9.5 percent offensive rebound rate, and even better on the defensive glass, finishing with a 21.3 percent defensive rebound rate for his four years as a Spartan. Rebounding is one of the tools that translates best to the NBA, so if Payne’s time in East Lansing says anything, he’ll be a solid rebounder at the next level.
There are quite a few questions surrounding Payne on the defensive end. He was never a great defender at school, and seemed to have a little bit of trouble schematically at times. Payne would lose his man off the ball throughout the game, and was typically a step slow recovering. The former Spartan also has smaller lungs than most players his size, which causes him to fatigue quicker than most.
Despite having good length and overall size, Payne will need to bulk up some more for the next level. Payne has a relatively frail and weaker lower body than most his age, and very narrow hips. His frame could lead to problems regarding durability over the long 82 game NBA season. He’ll need to bulk up, especially if he wants to be better on both ends against some of the bigger, stronger power forwards the NBA has to offer.
One of the oldest players in the draft, Payne is going to be able to come in and contribute right off the bat. His game is filled out for the most part, but still has some questions to be answered. He’s got the tools to be a good pro in the NBA, and with his jumper evolving even more, he’ll fit right into the ever changing landscape of the NBA.
The Magic could very well be in the market for Payne with their second selection. Payne would give them a power forward they can slot in next to Nikola Vucevic and help to expand his game more, especially on the offensive end. While they may have some issues on the defensive end, Payne would give the Magic the athleticism that they need next to Vucevic. However, a lot depends on what Orlando is able to do with the fourth pick. Payne would fill a hole, but is it a big enough one to pass on someone else who could fit a more glaring need for the team?