Who would you rather have next year, Adreian Payne or Jabari Parker?

The question has been posed on Twitter and discussed among writers who cover Michigan State, after Adreian Payne made his decision to return for his senior season at MSU:

Who would the Spartans be better with next season, Payne or Jabari Parker?

Parker, the nation’s most publicized recruit in the 2013 class (and in several years), chose Duke over MSU in December.

It’s a futile exercise. Payne is staying. Parker isn’t coming. And the two aren’t related, as far as I know.

But it is interesting to think about. Because, in some ways, Payne’s decision to come back was akin to MSU landing a one-and-done caliber recruit and an almost certain NBA first-round draft pick next year.

While having both Payne and Parker for next season would have been ideal, viewing Payne’s return alone as an addition makes MSU’s 2013 class look pretty good. Add Gary Harris to this mix and the players the Spartans have on next season’s roster that they nearly didn’t create a better April than any signing day could produce.

But let’s just compare Payne to Parker and only in terms of impact next season.

Who would you rather have?

I’d take Payne for this MSU roster. Because there is no other NBA-caliber big man on it. Parker, at 6-foot-8 and 225 pounds, is considered more of a wing-4 than a true power forward, similar to Branden Dawson. Even if he’s better than Dawson immediately, the difference between Parker and Dawson isn’t as severe as Payne to the rest of MSU’s bigs.

And Payne has been through Big Ten battles, performed well in the postseason, taken his lumps during his career and emerged a seasoned borderline star. He brings the value of three years of college basketball living and, importantly, hasn’t reached his ceiling. That’s critical here, because choosing Payne over Parker is chancing that Parker isn’t the next Carmelo Anthony.

If I thought Payne would stand still as a player, I’d probably go the other way. But I don’t. This is the first offseason Payne has entered with such an array of skills, the first opportunity he’s had to put it all together, and he knows the NBA is watching.

There may be future recruiting ramifications that favor one or the other, though I tend to think winning helps recruiting most.

So, how do you see it? Payne or Parker?

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20 Responses to Who would you rather have next year, Adreian Payne or Jabari Parker?

  1. avatar AAsparty says:

    Payne all the way, I think with Parker’s gimpy foot (and some are saying a “questionable attitude”) you’re getting a pig in a poke…

  2. avatar Tobacco Road Spartan says:

    I’ll take Payne and his size, toughness and work ethic for a run at the title. He will take some of the heat off of Costello, who will be the man in 2014-2015.

  3. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    Payne for the inside game, Parker would have been an insurance piece for depth like Jason Richardson in 2000.

  4. avatar Tim Ehrbright says:

    Give me 4 years of experience over a freshman any day!

    • avatar Spartan 81 says:

      So does that mean you take Joe Rexrodes years of experience over Graham Couches freshman year?

      • avatar AFord66 says:

        I’d take Joe in that competition any day! Graham sometimes sounds like scUM alum!!! Or somebody with the pessimistic attitude that true Spartan fans would never have!

        • avatar reality check says:

          Graham Couch is a breath of fresh air, he speaks truth to power. Its going to be interesting to see who he predicts will win the Western Michigan –MSU game this year.

          • avatar MSU Owns Beilein says:

            hopefully he picks WMU so we can continue to laugh at him after State wins by 6 TD’s. scUM better worry about CMU

          • avatar MSU Owns Beilein says:

            Graham is still mad Cousins picked MSU over WMU, so much so he picked the WMU QB that nobody can remember to be drafted higher than Cousins and was a better player. HAHAHHAHAHHAHA

  5. avatar Scott Heiler says:

    A.P. all the way. Experienced and a class act. I’ll take that over a flash in the pan any day!

  6. avatar Mary Wells says:

    Without question Adrien Payne. With his attitude, work ethic and wanting to be here I think that’s everything.

  7. avatar Ganesh Reddy says:

    Definitely Payne! No question about it! Three years of experience under Coach Izzo is invaluable!

  8. avatar waddman says:

    Wow who would you rather have. A HS phenom who hasn’t played a minute of college ball or a guy with 3 years experience. Both. What has changed in recruiting where a top 15 program has trouble recruiting big men? TI does everything correctly. But answering your question AP.

  9. avatar A very Anti-Couch poster says:

    As usual the Cheese-It shows his ignorance of college basketball at the DI level. Let me just think for a minute a 4th year Senior who understands not only the schemes, but also the work necessary or a prima donna frosh who hasn’t stepped on the court yet? Dumb question that belongs in the reality filled world of twitter.

  10. Pingback: Web links: MSU tips, PSU plans & more « Big Ten Network

  11. avatar Jmac says:

    Payne makes too much sense over Parker.

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