2020 NBA draft profile: Killian Hayes is an impressive prospect who doesn't play like a 19-year-old

Noah Levick
·3 min read

French PG prospect Killian Hayes is an impressive 19-year-old originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Our scouting report on NBA draft prospect Killian Hayes: 

  • Position: PG

  • Height: 6-5

  • Weight: 216 pounds (per team website

  • Team: ratiopharm Ulm (Germany) 

Killian Hayes just turned 19 years old in July, but he’s been playing with adults for a while. He made his pro debut at 16 with Cholet in France and started this past season for ratiopharm Ulm in Germany.

Hayes was born in Florida but grew up in France — his father, DeRon Hayes, played basketball at Penn State and met Killian’s mother, Sandrine, while playing in France’s Pro A league. 

In 20 Basketball Bundesliga games, Hayes averaged 11.6 points and 5.3 assists per game, while he posted 12.8 points and 6.2 assists per contest in 10 EuroCup games

Strengths

Hayes is a very talented passer, equipped with excellent instincts and court vision. He thrives in the pick-and-roll, with a good sense of his reads against various coverages and the ability to hit them — he broke this area of the game down well with ESPN’s Mike Schmitz.

Across the board, Hayes doesn’t play like a 19-year-old. While he certainly has room to improve, he possesses an impressive polish and feel for the game. 

Though he shot 29.4 percent from three-point range across all competitions this season, there are several positive signs with Hayes’ shot. He made 87.6 percent of his free throws, has nice touch and solid mechanics. 

Weaknesses

As The Stepien’s Zach Milner notes, Hayes has a tendency to force passes, which can lead to turnovers. The most obvious weakness for Hayes is his right hand — he rarely uses it, and that limits the passes he can make and the ways he can finish. He’s become adept at working around that and getting to his left hand, but NBA opponents will understand Hayes is a very lefty-dominant player and defend him as such. 

Hayes isn’t an incredible athlete and doesn’t appear to project as a plus defender, although he should be capable on that end of the floor in the NBA when engaged. He managed 1.5 steals per game this season. 

Fit

It seems unlikely the Sixers would have the assets necessary to trade up for Hayes, who should be a top-10 pick. (As a refresher, the team owns picks 21, 34, 36, 49 and 58.)

If the Sixers did end up grabbing Hayes, it would probably suggest that they were planning to use Ben Simmons much more than they previously have as a screener and roller. It wouldn’t make sense to trade up for Hayes only to place him off the ball.

He would probably be better off on a team that could be patient, afford to give him a lot of minutes early and tolerate the early challenges he’ll face in the NBA. It looks like he'll be a lottery pick and find himself on such a team.