Payne joined the MSU program in 2010 and was an important piece of the Spartans, averaging 16 points and seven rebounds his senior year on the way to an Elite Eight berth. Following his final year in Lansing, the Hawks drafted Payne 15th overall in the 2014 NBA draft.
He appeared in three games with Atlanta as a rookie but was traded to the Timberwolves in exchange for a protected future first-round pick in February 2015 — the Hawks were 43-10 at the time.
Payne appeared in 107 games in four seasons with the Hawks, Timberwolves, and Magic, averaging 4.0 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. He spent time in the NBA and the G-League before going overseas in 2018. Payne had a successful career playing in the Panathinaikos, a Greek League Basketball club, winning the GBL championship in 2018 and Greek Basketball Cup in 2019.