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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Michigan St. PF Adreian Payne

05.23.14 at 9:00 am ET

As part of’€™s coverage of the 2014 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their two selections in the first round.


Position: Power forward
School: Michigan State
Age: 23
Height: 6-foot-10
Weight: 239 pounds
Wingspan: 7-foot-4

Key 2013-14 stats: 16.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 42.3 3P%

Scouting report: Almost every NBA team can use a near 7-footer that hustles, plays with grit, and can shoot 3-pointers at an efficient rate.  Payne brings all of these traits and then some. The fourth-year big man from Michigan State has outstanding shooting mechanics, as he frequently utilizes “the hop” to get his perimeter attempts off quickly.

Because of his athleticism, Payne is also a terrific finisher at the basket (68 percent, according to Hoop-Math). He plays above the rim and is able to get there either via dive cuts, post-ups or alley-oops. This explosiveness will certainly translate to the pros, since more open-court opportunities will be available.

On the other hand, there are some alarming warts that likely will prevent Payne from reaching his true potential. He has smaller than average-sized lungs, which means he can’€™t play for extended periods of time. At Michigan State, Tom Izzo had to manipulate Payne’€™s minutes to allow him to be the most effective he could be, but there are legitimate questions about his ability to sustain productivity over an 82-game season.

Payne also suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Even though Payne is a high-character individual, his on-court decisions make coaches (and fans) shake their heads at times. He misses defensive rotations and had a poor 0.65 assist-to-turnover ratio, illustrating his decision-making difficulty.

Still, Payne brings enough transferable skills to the NBA and deserves consideration as a mid- to late-first-round pick. Even if he’€™s a guy who can only play 20 minutes per game, it’€™s close to a guarantee that he’ll be productive during his time on the court.

How he fits: Brad Stevens likes to stretch the floor with all of his big men, and Payne fits that mold to perfection. He brings exceptional mechanics from both mid- and 3-point range, and could immediately slide into the rotation considering his experience.

Related articles:

ESPN Insider: Payne dealing with mono

Sporting News: Payne sharing Senior Night with Lacey Holsworth beyond special

Video: Here is a video of all 41 of Payne’€™s points against Delaware.

(Kevin O’€™Connor also covers the Celtics for SB Nation and can be reached on Twitter @KevinOConnorNBA.)

Read More: 2014 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Adrian Autry, Boston Celtics, NBA
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