The 2019 NBA Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. The Game Haus will be doing scouting reports on some of the top prospects in the 2019 NBA Draft. Texas center Jaxson Hayes was a late bloomer, but is now a quality draft prospect.
2018-2019 stats: 10.0 points per game, 5.0 rebounds per game, 0.3 assists per game, 0.6 steals per game, 2.2 blocks per game, 72.8% field goal, 0% 3 point
Size: 6-foot-11, 220 pounds
Hayes is a unique prospect in that, he only started for one year on his high school basketball team. Despite that, he was still able to become a highly-touted prospect who chose to go to Texas for his one season of college basketball.
He got plenty of accolades during his one season at Texas, being named an All-Big 12 Player, an All-Big 12 Defensive player and Big 12 Rookie of the Year. While Hayes was not able to lead the Longhorns into the NCAA Tournament, Texas was able to win the NIT. He didn’t have a game in college where he scored 20 points, but made an impact on defense and on the boards.
Even though he had humble beginnings relative to other NBA Draft prospects, Hayes has now set himself up well for a good career in the NBA. He will likely be selected late in the lottery.
Hayes has both good size and length. He stands 6-foot-11 and has a 7-foot-4 inch wingspan. He will be able to match up physically with most NBA big men. This will come in handy while defending the post, but he’ll have to add a little bit more weight to his frame to be really great in that regard.
At Texas, Hayes showed the ability to be a solid rim protector. He averaged 2.2 blocks per game, which was a result of his great length and anticipation. Those skills should translate to the NBA, even with a more spread out floor and bigger athletes.
Around the rim, Hayes is almost automatic. He has a few good post moves and shot over 72 percent from the field at Texas. He has a big body that is capable of receiving passes in the post well. Hayes also runs the floor well, which gets him even more open looks at the rim.
Hayes will not be able to stretch the floor at the NBA level, at least to start his career. He didn’t even attempt a three-point shot at Texas. His range is limited as mid-range jump shots can even give him trouble. This could limit his ability to stay on the floor for fourth quarters in the NBA.
He’ll need to add more strength to his frame, as there are plenty of smaller players in the NBA who outweigh him and will be able to outmuscle him. Hayes seems like he should be able to add muscle to his frame, but it will take some time.
Passing out of the post gives Hayes trouble. He can’t find open teammates and often turns the ball over. Hayes averaged just 0.3 assists per game in college. Luckily he didn’t turn the ball over too much either, as he had just 0.9 turnovers per game. He’ll need to pass better out of the post to be a more dangerous offensive weapon.