Michigan, MSU players headed to NBA

LEFT: Nik Stauskas is greeted by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. RIGHT: Michigan State's Adreian Payne, left, poses for a photo with Silver.
LEFT: Nik Stauskas is greeted by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. RIGHT: Michigan State's Adreian Payne, left, poses for a photo with Silver.

UNDATED (WOOD) — Three players from Michigan and two from Michigan State’s basketball program are headed to the NBA.

The Sacramento Kings looked to fill their shooting void by taking perhaps the best marksman available in the draft when they selected Michigan guard Nik Stauskas with the eighth overall pick.

Michigan's Nik Stauskas dunks during the second half of an NCAA Midwest Regional final college basketball tournament game against Kentucky Sunday, March 30, 2014, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
(Stauskas dunks against Kentucky Sunday, March 30, 2014, in Indianapolis.)

This marks the second straight season the Kings used a top 10 pick on a shooting guard. But Stauskas is a much more accomplished shooter than last year’s seventh pick Ben McLemore, who shot 38 percent from the field and 32 percent from long range as a rookie.

The 6-foot-6 Stauskas became one of the nation’s most well-rounded offensive players, averaging 17.5 points last season on the way to winning Big Ten player of the year honors. Stauskas shot 44 percent from 3-point range in two years in college and improved his ball handling and defense considerably in his second season when he took over a big share of the playmaking role with departure of star point guard Trey Burke to the NBA.

Stauskas is from Mississauga, Ontario, and followed top pick Andrew Wiggins as the second Canadian taken in the draft.

Michigan State's Adreian Payne dunks against Harvard in the second half during the third round of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Spokane, Wash., Saturday, March 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
(Payne dunks against Harvard in the third round of the NCAA tournament in Spokane, Wash. March 22, 2014. AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

With the 15th pick, the Atlanta Hawks chose power forward Adreian Payne of MSU.

Hawks general manager Danny Ferry didn’t hesitate to select Payne.

“Playing for a guy like Tom Izzo for four years can be nothing but good,” Ferry said Thursday night. “He’s a terrific coach and he’s a mentor to the young guys he has. We have a great deal of respect of their program.”

The 6-foot-10 Payne, a second-team All-Big Ten selection, helped the Spartans advance to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament in his senior season.

“He’s a stretch big,” Ferry said. “He’ll be able to shoot and open up the court for our guards and everybody in general. That obviously is something we value. We like guys that can get up and down” the floor quickly.

Payne said recently that he’s still grieving the death of 8-year-old Lacey Holsworth of St. John’s Mich., a Michigan State fan who died of cancer in early April.

Matt and Heather Holsworth, Lacey’s parents, joined Izzo in standing with Payne as he was introduced at the draft Thursday night.

The Denver Nuggets used the 19th pick acquired from the Chicago Bulls in a draft-day deal to get Michigan State guard Gary Harris.

Michigan State's Gary Harris shoots against Indiana during the first half of an NCAA basketball game, Jan. 21, 2014, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
(Harris shoots against Indiana, Jan. 21, 2014, in East Lansing, Mich.)

The Nuggets surrendered the draft rights to Creighton forward Doug McDermott — their pick at No. 11 — to the Bulls for the opportunity to pick up Bosnian center Jusuf Nurkic (16th overall) and Harris.

The 6-foot-4 Harris was high on the Nuggets’ list and rather surprisingly slipped to No. 19. He averaged 16.7 points and 2.7 assists last season for the Spartans.

The arrival of Harris, though, creates a log jam at shooting guard, especially considering the Nuggets reacquired Arron Afflalo earlier in the day in a deal with Orlando for guard Evan Fournier and the No. 56 pick in the draft.

The Oklahoma City Thunder took Michigan forward Mitch McGary with the 21st pick.

Michigan forward Mitch McGary (4) looks up court during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Arizona in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
(McGary during a game against Arizona in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013.)

McGary, at 6-foot-10 and 255-pounds, averaged 9.5 points and 8.3 rebounds last season, but he played just eight games after electing to have back surgery. He tested positive for marijuana last season and faced a suspension, so he left after his sophomore year.

Oklahoma City might be looking toward the future at the power forward and center spots. Starting center Kendrick Perkins is entering the last year of his deal, and Steven Adams appears to be the future at the position. Reserve power forward Nick Collison also is entering the last year of his contract.

McGary joins a Thunder squad that features MVP Kevin Durant, point guard Russell Westbrook and defensive stopper Serge Ibaka and is knocking on the door of an NBA title. Oklahoma City is coming off a 59-23 campaign that ended with a loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference finals.

The Thunder have selected wisely over the years. They drafted much of the team that reached the NBA Finals in 2012 and the Western Conference finals three of the past four years, including Durant, Westbrook, Reggie Jackson and Serge Ibaka. The Thunder picked up solid contributors Adams and Andre Roberson on draft night last year.

The Thunder also had the 29th pick, and they still need help at guard. Starting shooting guard Thabo Sefolosha is an unrestricted free agent, and backup point guard Derek Fisher is now coaching the New York Knicks.

Michigan's Glenn Robinson III dribbles during practice for their NCAA Midwest Regional semifinal college basketball tournament game Thursday, March 27, 2014, in Indianapolis. Michigan plays Tennessee on Friday, March 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
(Robinson dribbles during practice for their NCAA Midwest Regional semifinal college Thursday, March 27, 2014, in Indianapolis. AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

The Minnesota Timberwolves selected Michigan forward Glenn Robinson III with the 40th overall pick in the second round of the draft.

Robinson, the son of former NBA player and Purdue star Glenn Robinson, averaged 13.1 points and 4.4 rebounds for the Wolverines as a sophomore last year.

The Timberwolves drafted UCLA guard Zach LaVine 13th overall in the first round.

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