Payne is a 6-9 power forward who averaged 16.4 points and 7.3 rebounds with the Spartans this season. He has an excellent perimeter game and should fit nicely into Atlanta's spread the floor attack. He was listed at No. 18 on the official Peachtree Hoops big board.
For fans wanting a player ready to contribute sooner rather than later, there is much to be excited about in getting a player like fellow former Spartan teammate Draymond Green in a larger body. While teams made the mistake of letting Green fall to the second round, there is no way that Payne should drop that far. If Payne does begin to drop, Danny Ferry would be wise to stay on the phone in hopes of moving up to get a player ready to play in the rotation as a rookie and play multiple roles off an NBA bench for many years to come.
With Dario Saric off the board, the Hawks and Danny Ferry elected to go with a pick that could potentially help right away. Payne could immediately slot into the rotation and could suggest that Mike Scott's days in Atlanta are numbered.