Hawks sign top pick Payne
ATLANTA — The Atlanta Hawks signed their first-round draft pick, Adreian Payne, the team announced on Friday. Payne was the 15th overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft, after playing four seasons at Michigan State.
Payne finished his college career as Michigan State’s all-time leader in blocked shots (141), and scored 1,232 points while pulling down 735 rebounds. He gave Hawks fans a taste of how he’d do at the next level by playing in the NBA summer league in Las Vegas.
He averaged 12.5 points and seven rebounds during the six-game, summer-league schedule, and shot 37.5 percent from the floor and 30 percent from beyond the 3-point line. According to the Hawks’ official website, Payne grew as a hoopster during his time in the summer league.
"Payne looked excellent on both ends of the floor, and put forth his best performance of the summer," Robby Kalland reported for NBA.com. "He seemed to be more under control on offense, and was decisive about the shots he took. After admitting he was still learning where he was supposed to get his shots after the first game, it’s clear that Payne is becoming more comfortable in Atlanta’s offense."
Payne should be in the mix for considerable time in Atlanta’s front court this season.
The Hawks were also busy Friday re-signing free-agent guard Shelvin Mack to a three-year, $7.3 million deal, multiple sources have reported. Mack confirmed the deal via Twitter.
— Shelvin Mack (@ShelvinMack) July 25, 2014
The point guard averaged 7.5 points, 3.7 assists and 2.2 rebounds for Atlanta last season, sinking 42 percent of his shots from the field and 34 percent from the 3-point line in 20 minutes of play per game.
Mack will play behind starter Jeff Teague, and split minutes with Dennis Schroder next season.