Draft Profile: Adreian Payne

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Combine Measurements


Why You Might Know Him

Adreian Payne caught the attention of the country this season when his relationship with 8-year-old cancer patient Lacey Holsworth went national. The two struck up a friendship when they met during a Spartans team visit to a hospital a couple of years ago. They became so close that Payne referred to her as his sister. Lacey and her family oftentimes pointed toward Payne as the inspiration that kept her fighting. Lacey joined Payne for several emotional on-court celebrations as his senior season came to an end.

Scouting Report

You don’t have to look at Payne long to realize one important thing he brings to the table: length. He measured out at 6-foot-9 without shoes at the Combine to go along with an impressive wingspan of 7-foot-4. That’s plus-seven inches in the height-to-wingspan ratio. To put that into context, a plus-five is typically considered to be a great wingspan in the NBA. That length, combined with his leaping ability, allows him to excel as a shot blocker off the ball. Payne plays his tail off and has an edge to him. He has a very good motor and provides hustle and energy at both ends of the court. His offense is his greatest weapon. He has a very smooth jumper with a nice arc. His shot can and will expand to NBA 3-point range; he shot 42.3 percent from 3-point range as a senior. The one negative is that his release is quite slow, as he uses his entire body to generate his shot, much like Brandon Bass. Payne has a good first step for his size. He can score in a variety of ways, from perimeter jumpers, to face-ups, to turnarounds and jump hooks. He is lean for his size, weighing in at just 238.5 pounds. He’ll need to add strength in order to handle NBA power forwards on a regular basis. That being said, he isn’t afraid of contact. If he eventually adds strength to his already-high motor, he could become a physical force.


Payne was born to Thomas Payne and Gloria Lewis on Feb. 19, 1991 in Dayton, Ohio. He was raised by his grandmother, Mary Lewis. Payne remained in Dayton through the conclusion of his high school career, which featured a Division IV state championship during his senior year at Jefferson High School. He was chosen as a First-Team Division IV All-State performer as well as the Ohio Division IV Player of the Year during his senior year in 2010. Payne was No. 26 on the ESPN 100 list when he concluded his high school career. He chose to play his collegiate career at Michigan State over other schools like Arizona, Kentucky and West Virginia. Payne didn’t play much as a freshman but continued to work hard and develop. He stepped into a major role as a junior, when he averaged 10.5 PPG and 7.6 RPG. Payne averaged 16.4 PPG and 7.4 RPG as a senior and earned Second Team All-Big Ten honors.