Jaxson Hayes Is A Pick For The Future
This piece does not reflect the views of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
PF/C, Texas, Freshman
6’11, 218 pounds
College Stats in 2018-19:
10 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 2.2 BPG, 72.8 FG%, 74 FT%
Where he’ll go:
Hayes is expected to be a lottery pick.
Jaxson Hayes kind of came out of nowhere. Not many people had him as a player who would be draft eligible after his freshman season, let alone a lottery pick.
But here we are after Hayes had a solid and efficient freshman season.
After the team’s fifth game of the season when he finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in a win over North Carolina, that’s when Hayes thought there was a possibility he could be drafted.
“That’s when I first saw my name on the draft board,” Hayes said at the NBA Combine in Chicago. “One of my friends sent it to me. . . That was when I was like ‘I can definitely do this.’”
Hayes is a lengthy and uber-athletic big, but he’s extremely raw. Whoever takes Hayes is taking him based on what they think he can be, not what he is right now. The goal for Hayes right now is to add muscle to his frame, something that should come easy considering he just turned 19.
He runs the court and can get up. He has soft hands, which bodes well for passes at the rim.
He is a solid free-throw shooter, which hopefully projects to him expanding his range in the future. It’s not something that was on display in college. He doesn’t look totally comfortable with his left hand.
Defensively, he could be a big-time shot blocker given his athleticism. With that aggressiveness to block shots, though, comes some foul trouble. Sometimes defensively, he gets lost, which is problematic in today’s NBA where offenses are constantly in motion.
He gets pushed around on the glass, but a lot of that goes back to his slight build.
Fun fact: His dad, Jonathan Hayes, played 12 seasons in the NFL as a tight end. He’s currently the tight ends coach for the Bengals.
Hayes probably won’t find himself on an All-Rookie Team, but the hope is that as his body develops, he’ll become at the very least, a rotational big who brings energy and rim protection.