The Hawks have signed No. 15 overall pick Adreian Payne, the team announced via Twitter. He’ll likely receive more than $1.855MM this season, as our table of salaries for 2014 first-round draft picks shows.
Payne, a 6’10” power forward, showed steady improvement over his four years at Michigan State, gradually expanding his shooting range and averaging 16.4 points and 7.3 rebounds with 42.3% accuracy from behind the three-point line as a senior. The 23-year-old’s age appeared to be a concern for some teams, but the Hawks drafted him more highly than it seemed he’d go, as Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress listed him as the 19th-best prospect and Chad Ford of ESPN.com pegged him 22nd.
Atlanta struggled with injuries in its frontcourt this past season, and the presence of Payne will help the team add to its depth. Two Hawks big men who played key roles last season, Pero Antic and Mike Scott, remain unsigned.