Payne selected by Atlanta at No. 15

Former Michigan State forward the first Spartan off the board in the 2014 NBA Draft and is selected by the Atlanta Hawks.

Michigan State's drought in the NBA draft lottery continued, but one pick later, a Spartan came off the board.

Adreian Payne was selected with the No. 15 pick by the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday. It was the earliest a Spartan had been picked in the NBA draft since Jason Richardson went No. 5 in 2001 to Golden State.

Payne averaged 16.4 points per game in 31 games last season, while he missed time with a foot injury and also battled mononucleosis. He shot 42.3 percent from 3-point range as a senior and had a 41-point performance against Delaware in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The senior forward took a while to decide to return to school after his junior year, but came back hoping to win a title. The Spartans advanced to the Elite 8 before falling to Connecticut at Madison Square Garden.

Many draft projections had shooting guard Gary Harris being selected before Payne, but the power forward wound up being the first Michigan State product selected.

He was the first first-rounder from Michigan State sine Shannon Brown in 2006, when he was selected by Cleveland at No. 25.

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