Posted: Thursday, June 26th 2014 at 10:46pm
Hawks draft Michigan State's Payne 15th overall
By The Associated Press
Michigan State's Adreian Payne, right, poses for a photo with NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the 15th overall pick by the Atlanta Hawks during the 2014 NBA draft on Thursday in New York. / photo: Associated Press
ATLANTA -- Hawks general manager Danny Ferry didn't hesitate to select Michigan State power forward Adreian Payne with the 15th overall draft pick.
"Playing for a guy like Tom Izzo for four years can be nothing but good," Ferry said Thursday night. "He's a terrific coach and he's a mentor to the young guys he has. We have a great deal of respect of their program."
The 6-foot-10 Payne, a second-team All-Big Ten selection, helped the Spartans advance to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament in his senior season.
"He's a stretch big," Ferry said. "He'll be able to shoot and open up the court for our guards and everybody in general. That obviously is something we value. We like guys that can get up and down" the floor quickly.
The Hawks are coming off a 38-44 season under first-year coach Mike Budenholzer, losing a first-round playoff series in seven games to No. 1 seed Indiana.
Atlanta currently has all five starters - Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap, Al Horford, Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll - under contract and five other reserves - Lou Williams, Dennis Schroder, Mike Muscala, John Jenkins and Pero Antic - signed through 2014-15.
Ferry told The Associated Press this week that he hopes to re-sign forward Mike Scott and guard Shelvin Mack as restricted free agents.
Payne said recently that he's still grieving the death of 8-year-old Lacey Holsworth of St. John's Mich., a Michigan State fan who died of cancer in early April.
Matt and Heather Holsworth, Lacey's parents, joined Izzo in standing with Payne as he was introduced at the draft Thursday night .
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