MSU’s Adreian Payne: likely top 20 pick, Bulls at #16?


The Michigan State Spartans replaced their all-everything Draymond Green in forward Adreian Payne, who’s looking like a NBA first round pick on Thursday night. Like Green, he’s a big that can do it all inside and out, throw it down, or shoot from the outside.

Another parallel between this year and last is Adreian Payne previously not on NBA scout radar developing some serious NBA draft stock. Draymond Green did the same exact thing last year.


Adreian Payne is a big body with an impressive wingspan (like Jay Bilas says, “wingspan wingspan wingspan”) who presented a matchup nightmare for Big Ten front lines, but he has some issues still. He needs to be a more consistent scorer to complement his shot-blocking and rebounding. Green, currently tearing up opposing defense in the NBA’s Western Conference, had a positive effect on Payne.

“Maybe I use to be too goofy, but being around Dey-Dey really matured me in not being as goofy as I used to be, and being serious when it’s time to be serious,” Payne said of Green’s influence during his exclusive with The Sports Bank.

Payne also discussed working on his offensive game.

“I think I need to focus now on what is a good shot, what is a bad shot, and think when am I going to shoot it or when am i going to drive it,” he said.

ESPN Analyst Jay Bilas joined the media on conference call yesterday to preview the NBA Draft, here’s what he said about Payne:

“Payne is one of those guys that’s kind of a stretch four.  He can make an NBA three.  He runs the floor very well.  Put him in the post, and he can operate out of there.  But he’s I don’t know that you see him necessarily as a starter.  He can start certainly for some teams.  I don’t know long term you say, okay, that’s a starter.  I’ve got him ranked, I think, 20, in that range.  But he’s had a really good college career, and just a terrific kid.  So I really hope he does well.
“Super athletic, but, boy, he really changed his game throughout the course of his four years at Michigan State.  I think he did a really good job there.”
Here’s where he have him slotted:
19. Chicago- Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan State, 6-10, Sr.
By adding a guard with their earlier selection, the Bulls either look for a wing scorer or frontcourt depth here (assuming they keep both of their picks which appears to be unlikely.)  Adreian Payne would provide some insurance in the frontcourt in case the Bulls amnesty Carlos Boozer and Nikola Mirotic doesn’t come to the NBA next season.

Paul M. Banks owns The Sports, an affiliate of Fox Sports. He’s also a frequent guest on talk shows across the world. Banks has been featured in hundreds of media outlets including, Forbes, Bleacher Report, Deadspin, ESPN, Washington Times, NBC and the History Channel. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)

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