The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has acquired forward/center Adreian Payne from Atlanta for a protected future first round draft pick.
“We are extremely excited to welcome Adreian to Minnesota,” said Timberwolves head coach Flip Saunders. “Adreian fits the mold of a young, athletic and talented player who we believe will fit in well with our young and talented core. We’ve liked him for a while and look forward to seeing him grow with us in a Wolves uniform.”
Payne, 23, was selected by Atlanta with the 15th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. He’s appeared in three games with the Hawks this season, averaging 1.7 points and 1.3 rebounds in 6.3 minutes per game. Payne has appeared in 17 games between the Fort Worth Mad Ants and Austin Spurs in the NBA D-League, averaging 12.9 points, on 48.3% shooting, 8.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 27.2 minutes per game.
Drafted out of Michigan State, Payne averaged 16.4 points on 50.3% shooting (42.3% from three-point range) and 7.3 rebounds per game as senior in 2013-14 with the Spartans. His play earned him Second-Team All-Big Ten and Honorable Mention Associated Press All-American. Payne finished his collegiate career as one of just nine players in MSU history with 1,200+ points and 700+ rebounds, as well as wrapping up his career as the school’s all-time leader in blocked shots.