The athleticism of Adreian Payne is something that immediately jumps off the page when looking at him. For that reason alone, the Atlanta Hawks have to be thrilled with the No. 15 overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft.
Even though there are concerns about his ability to play a lot of minutes due to a reduced lung capacity, Payne should still be able to give the Hawks an approximate 25-28 minutes per game. That means he will still be a legitimate starter with the stronger possibility of being an excellent role player.
The reason why fans in Atlanta should be excited about Payne is because of his explosive offensive game. He’s not someone who will necessarily make plays off the dribble or create plays for others. However, he does have an incredibly impressive shot for a big man. In fact, it’s his range on the court that is more mesmerizing than anything else is.
Despite being 6’10 and playing a natural power forward position, he shot 42.3 percent from beyond the arc last season. And I’m not talking about just one or two attempts per game. He took an average of 3.4 shots per contest. His smooth shooting stroke allows him to get the ball and get rid of it quickly, which will put a huge damper on what defenses try to do against in him. In fact, opponents will have a hard time defending the Hawks with him on the court because of his ability to stretch the defense.
It’s true that Payne has good moves in the post, although there’s definitely some room for improvement. He can score around the basket, get on top of the boards, and he’s intelligent enough to make the necessary pass when put in a difficult position. A big reason for his success in this area is because he’s a tough player who isn’t afraid to play physical basketball.
Overall, Payne is a fantastic addition to the Hawks because he can do so many things on offense, while also being an asset on defense. His athleticism should prevail above all else at the professional level. For that reason, Atlanta definitely made the right choice in the first round.