The 2014 NBA Draft is quickly approaching and Michigan’s Nik Stuakas and Michigan State’s Adreian Payne are busy scheduling various workouts with NBA teams.
According to Jeff Goodman of ESPN, Nik Stauskas is scheduled to work out for the Los Angeles Lakers on June 4th and followed by a work out for the Boston Celtics the following week. On the other side, Adreian Payne is scheduled to work out for the Boston Celtics on June 4th, the Phoenix Suns on June 6th and the Utah Jazz on June 7th.
Now when it comes to Stauskas, I feel the Lakers and Celtics are possible destinations where Stauskas could honestly succeed. Going into this draft, I see Stauskas as an instant commodity who can make an impact in the starting line-up or coming off the bench. I consider him to be one of the best pure shooters in the draft, due to the fact that he has a quick release and he has shown the ability to shoot consistently just about anywhere on the floor.
I think teams like the Lakers and Celtics could appreciate the fact that Stauskas is more than just a shooter. He may not have played point guard in college but he has solid ball handling skills. Plus he has shown that he can score in other ways besides shooting the three ball and there is no doubt that he has a high basketball IQ.
If Stauskas were to be drafted by the Celtics in this year’s draft, I feel he would be immediate commodity who could be used immediately. If you watched Boston at all this past season, you know Boston had very little offense last season and could use more shooting and overall scoring. So by drafting Stauskas, they would be drafting a creative play-maker who might is one of the best shooters in the draft. Stauskas could be developed as a key role player but he could as become as a replacement in case Avery Bradley leaves.
The same goes for Stauskas if he were to be drafted by the Lakers, because the Lakers could easily use him as shooter and play-maker off the bench. The only issue with the Lakers, is the fact that Stauskas is projected as a late lottery pick and the Lakers only have one pick in the first round in this year’s draft and that pick is seventh pick. I don’t know about you but I don’t think the Lakers would select Stauskas with that high of a pick. Boston on the other hand, has options, seeing that they hold the sixth pick and 17th pick in the first round.
Now for Adreian Payne, his upcoming workout visits look a little different, seeing that Payne is reportedly scheduled to workout for the Celtics, Suns and Jazz next week.
However, just like Stauskas, I think Payne could fit in well with the Celtics. Head coach Brad Stevens has always liked to stretch the floor with his big men and Payne fits the scheme and overall game plan of what Brad Stevens is possibly looking for. Coming in, Payne would bring the ability to shoot from both mid-range and 3-point range. Plus he is a player who likes to play above the rim and can run the floor. While I feel Payne still needs to work on becoming a more consistent defender and rebounder, there is still a possibility that he could immediately slide into the rotation if he were to be drafted by the Celtics. The main area of concern to watch for in this situation would be where Payne plays in the rotation. I personally feel the Celtics already have their power forward in Jared Sullinger. So that leaves the question, would the Celtics try to use Payne off the bench or would they try to use him as a hybrid tweener who plays both the small forward and power forward position.
As for Payne other scheduled workouts with the Suns and Jazz, I honestly think in this case, the Suns are more the better fit. If Payne were to be drafted by the Suns, I think he could serve as an upgrade over Channing Frye, seeing that he is more athletic, plus he could also serve as inside scorer and someone who can known down the mid-range and three-point shot. Besides that, he is also a good passer from the high post and just as I mentioned above, he can run the floor and loves to play above the rim, which allows him fits the fast pace skill set of the Suns.
Now, keep in mind that I’m not saying these are the only teams that fit Payne and Staukas but considering they have scheduled work-outs with these teams next week, I figured I break down how they fit and don’t fit. Nonetheless, we know the NBA Draft is anything but predictable, so for now we can only speculate on where players like Stauskas and Payne will go.
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit