Strengths and weaknesses of potential Knicks 2020 NBA Draft pick Killian Hayes

Ian Begley
·2 min read
Killian Hayes treated art
Killian Hayes treated art

Killian Hayes may be in New York next season – the guard is a projected lottery pick with the draft just around the corner. The Knicks select eighth on Wednesday night.

The club hasn’t worked out Hayes, but they have been in touch with him.

Below, Tom Primosch of the professional basketball scouting firm BPA Hoops, breaks down Hayes’ game:

STRENGTHS

In my opinion, Killian’s biggest strength is his passing, specifically his passing against rotating defenses rather than just set defenses. I think he’s extremely talented when it comes to making the proper reads and deciding where the higher value shot will come from when he has options in the half court.

I think his second biggest strength is his IQ. Specifically, I think his IQ shows up as a passer, when he operates as an off-ball player who has to move around the court, and with his defensive positioning on the other end of the court.

WEAKNESSES

His biggest weakness right now is his lack of ability to do anything with his right hand. He’s very left-hand dominant and teams know it. Not a threat to drive right and he can be overly reliant on his left hand when making passes. I think his second biggest weakness is probably his quickness as a defender. He can be slow to react when he’s defending the point of attack and sometimes he gets caught flat-footed in situations where a split second can make all the difference.

HOW DO YOU PROJECT HIM ON DEFENSE AT THIS LEVEL?

I project him to be a solid defender eventually. I think he has the IQ to be a really good cog in most lineups, and I think he’ll be able to handle different schemes and lineups just fine once he fills out. I don’t anticipate him being someone who will ever be singled out as the weak link of a five-man lineup.

His size is great for a lead guard and it’ll allow teams to potentially play a smaller guard next to him in the backcourt since Killian will be able to handle defensive assignments that aren’t just the opposing point guard. I see him defending twos just fine and even potentially being able to handle some of the smaller, low usage wings throughout the league. Additional strength will help him, but it’s not like he has a poor frame at all right now.

I don’t view him as someone who you’ll ever expect to throw on the other team’s best ball handler a la Patrick Beverley or Jrue Holiday, but I don’t think that means he’ll be a negative on that end of the floor. I also think he’s an underrated transition player, which I know isn’t technically “defense” but I think he’s good at turning defense into offense quickly, which matters to me.