Draft Lead

Jaxson Hayes is an Intriguing Project

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With the draft approaching soon, Draft Lead will be breaking down the strengths and weaknesses of the top lottery prospects. The next prospect in our series is Jaxson Hayes from the University of Texas.

Height/Weight: 6’11″/220 lbs

Position/College: Center/Texas

2018-2019 Season Stats

10.0 PPG | 5.0 RPG | 0.3 APG | 2.2 BPG | 23.3 MPG | 72.8% FG | 74% FT

Strengths

Hayes has a great physical profile for the center position. He is a legitimate seven footer with a plus wingspan and a frame that will fill out with time. Hayes also possesses elite athleticism and is quick off his feet. His combination of size, reach, soft touch, and reliable hands make him an ideal pick and roll option. He seemingly catches and dunks everything near him. Hayes is also able to get himself open as well as he regularly beat opposing centers down the court. He was an elite shot blocker this season, averaging 2.2 blocks per game. He also showed potential in being a perimeter defender, flashing enough agility to stay with smaller players. Hayes was a late bloomer coming out of high school, potentially meaning he has a lot of untapped upside.

Weaknesses

Right now, Hayes is lacking strength. He is lanky and will need time to adjust to the physicality of the NBA. Hayes also struggled to stay on the floor at times, as he averaged six fouls per 40 minutes. He is not a strong rebounder for his position, and needs to learn how to use his size. Hayes is very poor at playmaking, averaging less than one assist per 40 minutes. He averaged only 1 point per game as a Junior in high school, and is overall new to the sport of basketball. His feel for the game and basketball IQ are not strong, but will keep improving with in game experience.

Outlook

Hayes has strong physical tools and athleticism that will lead to him being drafted in the 8-11 range. His skillset will allow for some easy buckets in transition. Hayes is early in his basketball development. He must improve his strength and awareness in order to maximize his potential. The next step in his development will be developing a midrange jumper, which he has already shown flashes of due to his strong free throw percentage. Hayes will be a project, and is not likely to contribute early on, but he could end up becoming a strong NBA starter with progress.

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