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Featured above is Adreian Payne. He stands 6 foot 10 inches tall, has a wing span of 7 foot 4 inches and weighs in at 240 pounds. He's listed as a power forward, but clearly has the size to play some five.

Payne is beloved in the Michigan area for having an incredible motor (specifically a strong pension for laying out for loose balls). Offensively he has a polished inside game, range from distance (.423 from 3 on 3.4 shots a game), and scored 41 points in a tournament game.

Athletically? He can do things like this:


You literally couldn't ask for more out of a prospect, right? THINK AGAIN.

Because Adreian Payne has a horrifying secret; He's nearly 23 and a half years old. And because of that, most draft experts believe that Payne will get selected somewhere in the 17-22 range in this year's draft.

And I literally can't stop thinking about this.

Right now Adreian Payne is a man who can play both front court positions, can shoot from range at an exceptionally good rate, and can jump through the freaking roof. That's his skill set today. That's not 'if he continues to work on...' or 'if he spends the summer with this player...' that's what Adreian Payne brings to the table the second he enters the league. And this Thursday, 20 teams might pass on him because it took him a little longer than usual to grow into his freakishly gigantic body.

Youth and experience shouldn't be marginalized by any means. It's not lost on me that a 19 year old clearly has more time to develop, and in if the player turns out to be a superstar the less miles on his legs the better when it comes to the second contract. But they have to get there first.

For all the faults the movie and book 'Moneyball' had* I'm always reminded of one truly great sequence between Billy Beane and his older scouts about a top prospect they valued highly:

SCOUT 1
Top of my list.

SCOUT 2
Clean cut, good face.

SCOUT 3
Good jaw. He's the real deal.

SCOUT 4
Five tools, good lookin'.

BILLY
Can he hit?

SCOUT 5
He's a tools guy.

BILLY
Can he hit?

SCOUT 5
He's got a great swing. Natural swing.

BILLY
So you're saying he can't hit.

Talk about things like potential and upside all you'd like. At the end of the day it comes down to what a player actually produces. Or, can he hit?

For all the hype surrounding Noah Vonleh, he's an inch shorter than Payne (w/ same wingspan) and quite frankly, isn't the team that drafts him ultimately hoping that he develops into the player that Payne already is?

Sitting with a second first round pick at #17 the Boston Celtics might just be able to catch the benefits of a hand full of team's overthinking it. Here's to hoping they do.



*As nice as veteran players who can hit are, also a reason the Oakland Athletics were successful: 3 Cy Young Candidates and a MVP short stop

Matt Richissin 6/23/2014 04:38:00 PM Edit
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