NBA Draft: Re-drafting the 2014 NBA Draft’s first round

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images /
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Adreian Payne
Adreian Payne (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

2014 NBA Redraft: 30. Adreian Payne, San Antonio Spurs

If there’s one thing an NBA head coach values more than anything, it’s spacing. 3-point shooters are more valuable than they’ve ever been. The little guys have always been expected to shoot from distance. For up-and-coming big men, the ability to stretch an opposing center out of the paint can have you in the league for a long time.

Prior to the draft, Adreian Payne looked to fit the mold of a prototypical stretch power forward/center. He had good size at 6’10” and roughly 237 pounds that could help him wrestle amongst his contemporaries. But at 42.4 percent from distance in his senior season at Michigan State, he could step out and create extra room to drive for his teammates.

By 2014, the league had only dabbled in what they’d eventually dive head-first into with a few teams experimenting with more 3-point snipers. Still, it was coming fast, which should’ve boded well for the inside-out Payne.

The 15th overall pick by the Atlanta Hawks, he was shipped to the Minnesota Timberwolves after being used sparingly on the court. With his new team, Payne was gifted nearly 25 minutes a night in an attempt to see what he brought to the table. Instead of thriving, he struggled, averaging 7.2 points and 5.4 rebounds per game while shooting 12.5 percent from beyond the arc.

Over the next three seasons, he played two for Minnesota and one for the Orlando Magic, bouncing from the pros to the D-League throughout. There’s no legitimate reason to think Payne still has what it takes to play in the NBA. However, teams are always looking to give out chances. For a guy with the potential to do just about everything one could ask for in a man of his size, maybe one of those should go to Payne.

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