Gary Harris is “definitely leaning” toward staying for his sophomore season at Michigan State, while Adreian Payne is “50-50″, according to a report by CBSSports.com’s Gary Parrish.
College players have until April 28 to declare for the 2013 NBA Draft.
Of the two Spartans stars, Harris has the greater draft potential — most mock drafts have him in the top half of Round 1, with ESPN’s Chad Ford pegging him as the No. 10 pick by Minnesota. Payne, meanwhile, is likely a Round 2 (or late Round 1) prospect, though it’s hard to imagine his stock rising a whole lot between now and the 2014 draft, especially with a loaded group of big men potentially in the mix next year.
The only key contributor from its 2012-13 roster that Michigan State has lost thus far is Derrick Nix, who just wrapped his senior season. The Spartans could return their four other starters plus a couple of key bench players to a team that would no doubt be ranked in the top 10 heading into 2013-14.
Losing Payne along with Nix could change that. If nothing else, it would enhance the challenge Tom Izzo will face putting together a frontcourt.
A third Spartan, point guard Keith Appling, reportedly filed for an assessment of his status from the NBA Draft advisory board. There has been no indication whatsoever, though, that Appling plans to make the jump to the NBA.