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Michigan State Basketball: Rating the Spartans' NBA Draft Prospects

Trevor LowryContributor IOctober 8, 2016

Michigan State Basketball: Rating the Spartans' NBA Draft Prospects

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    The Michigan State Spartans had a great year, considering that they were not even ranked to start the season. For them to earn a No. 1 seed in this year's dance was a huge accomplishment, and the Spartans players should not be hanging their heads.

    The Spartans may have had a tremendous season, but that does not mean their players will have a good outing in the upcoming NBA draft. Just because a player is good in college does not mean that he will be able to make it at the next level.

    With that said, read on, and find out the rating for each of the Spartans' NBA draft prospects.

Keith Appling, Shooting Guard

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    Points per game: 11.4

    Assists per game: 3.9

    Class: Sophomore

    Considering that Keith Appling was the second-leading scorer on one of the best teams in the country, you would think that his draft stock would be higher.

    However, for a shooting guard, Appling's 6'2'' stature does not get the job done. Appling has a lot of speed and is great at penetrating, but can he really make it at the next level as a shooting guard?

    The answer is an obvious no.

    If Appling can become a better ball-handler and learn how to become a pass-first, shoot-second type of player, he may have a role in the NBA.

    He already has great leaping ability for a guard, but he also really needs to work on his three-point shooting.

    Other than that, Appling is a great scorer, and he has a lot going for him.

    Projection: Second Round to Undrafted

Branden Dawson, Small Forward

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    Points per game: 8.4

    Rebounds per game: 4.5

    Class: Freshman

    Branden Dawson has the type of body that NBA coaches look for in their players, meaning he is a strong, physical forward at 6'6'' and 220 pounds.

    Dawson is a great defender, who can pretty much cover anyone on the court—except for the center, that is.

    His production wasn't the greatest for Michigan State, but being a freshman and only averaging 20.6 minutes per game obviously has a lot to do with that.

    Dawson could surely help out his draft stock if he stays another year in a Spartans uniform. If not, then he'd better not sign an agent, because he will most likely not be drafted.

    Projection: Second Round to Undrafted

Draymond Green, Small Forward

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    Points per game: 16.2

    Rebounds per game: 10.6

    Class: Senior

    Draymond Green was easily one of the best players in the NCAA tournament. The man is an absolute beast on the boards to say the least, and his 10.8 rebounds per game is proof of this.

    Keep in mind that Green is only 6'6''.

    What makes Green so special, though, are his leadership skills and his basketball IQ. You can not measure how much heart a player has, and Green definitely is not lacking in that department.

    For being a big man in college, Green was an excellent passer and had a really good jump shot. Those two features, combined with his leadership skills, will go a long way in the NBA.

    Since Green is projected relatively low for how well he played this season, he will be a steal for whoever picks him up.

    Projection: Late First Round

Adreian Payne, Power Forward

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    Points per game: 7

    Rebound per game: 4.2

    Class: Sophomore

    Adreian Payne did not get the most minutes in the world, but when he did, he definitely took advantage of his playing time.

    At 6'10'', Payne has amazing leaping ability, which helps him tremendously on defense and with rebounds.

    However, Payne should stay at Michigan State to develop his offensive game and bulk up some, if he plans on getting drafted.

    Projection: Second Round to Undrafted

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