2013-14 Season Stats:
50% from the field
42% from three
79% from the free-throw line
Weight: 239. Height w/shoes: 6′ 9.75″. Wingspan: 7′ 4″. Max Vert: Did not participate
*All measurements come from last month’s NBA Draft Combine.
Rasheed Wallace/LaMarcus Aldridge
Robert Horry/A more mature Javale McGee
One of the more seasoned prospects in the draft, Adreian Payne would give teams an NBA-ready body. While some may look at him being 23 years old as a disadvantage to a team, in his case, it is the opposite. He is ready to blossom in the professional league after four long years at Michigan State. Tom Izzo knows how to get players ready to play winning basketball in the NBA. Take a look at Draymond Green -- he does so many of the things that matter during a course of a basketball game for the Golden State Warriors, but that does not show up on a stat sheet. Payne gives you all of that and more. He is a player that can eventually become one of the key assets to a championship team. He might not necessarily be a number one threat, but do not be alarmed to see him being the third or fourth.
Payne has the size and skill to play in the NBA and do well right from the start. Many teams will be interested in that, especially the ones who are in need of production as soon as possible. Payne is a very good scorer. He had a 41-point outburst in the NCAA tournament. He also brought up his average of points per game from 10 to 16.4 in just one season. Keep in mind, the statistics listed above are only what he does in a mere 28 minutes per game. Compared to other players in the draft class, his efficiency is high based on that alone. He is a capable shooter as well as a good free-throw shooter for his size. He also has a mid-range game to compliment his post-game. He has a few moves down low on the block, however, he shies away from contact. He doesn't get to the free-throw line as much as he should and he tends to fall in love with his jumper a little too often.
Defensively, Payne is at the level where you expect him to be. He did have trouble at first when he played for the Spartans due to how much foul trouble he would get into. He cut it down in his last two seasons and actually only fouled out once last season. Payne's footwork is solid for a man of his size, but he lacks true defensive IQ. He loses his opposition more times than you would like and he still might not be strong enough to deal with the bigger players in the NBA. He weighs nearly 240 pounds, which is good enough to hang with most power forwards. But in today's NBA, he might be asked to play center more than he would like and that is where he will need to bulk up to maintain his high level of play with the bigger guys.
Payne is one of the better rebounders in this draft class. He is physical, something you know will come with a Tom Izzo coached player and he does not let up on either side of the ball. He is not a legitimate number one scorer, despite being able to score from the low block, mid-range, and three point line. Payne is best fit to be a complimentary scorer while doing the dirty work on the glass. One concern is that he does not have much of a passing game. He does not read lanes clearly and often keeps the ball too low to the ground when he first receives it. He averaged two turnovers per game last season. All around, Payne does not have any significant weakness that has to be addressed right away. With whatever flaws Payne has, they can easily be fixed within a season based on his work ethic; he has gotten better every year since he has been at Michigan State.