Hawks first round pick Adreian Payne, who just officially signed with the team, showed plenty of promise during his week of play at Las Vegas Summer League and will look to play his way into the rotation during training camp. Payne comes into the NBA with a pretty well-polished skill set on both ends of the floor. On offense, he is explosive at the rim and has the shooting touch to spread the floor from the power forward position. The biggest hurdle for him on the offensive end will be adjusting to the speed of the game. He is plenty athletic and quick but had a tendency to rush himself in Summer League, particularly shooting the ball. “I feel like I played pretty decent,” Payne said of his Summer League performance. “Feel like I played pretty consistent throughout the tournament, so I just gotta continue to get better and get more efficient with my shots. They were telling me to get my shots, try to slow myself down and get my shots when they come, and they were coming, they just weren't falling...Being able to shoot the ball translates to any level, but it’s a lot different with the speed of the game and the players are more athletic. So, I’m just trying to get more comfortable out there and trying to find the pace of the game, so the shots still come and I’m in rhythm.” For the coaching staff, they’re happy to have a player who plays with the intensity and effort Payne does, and they’ll be working with him throughout the preseason on being under control and changing pace. “You always love the fact that you have to tell a guy to slow down rather than pick it up,” assistant coach Darvin Ham said. “He just needs to learn how to be quick but not in a hurry. He gets going and he’s going full speed, and that’s normal for guys coming out of college. They want to do everything 1000 percent and 100 miles per hour, but you can’t blame him for that, and we’re just going to try and refine him a little bit and play with a change of pace.” At the beginning of Summer League, Payne said he was struggling a bit with finding his space in the offense, and when and where he was supposed to get his shot. By the end of the week, he felt he had a better idea of his role and where he was supposed to be.
Payne Brings Athleticism, Physical Presence To Hawks
NBA.com | Jul 27