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Killian Hayes Is The Most Unusual Prospect

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Dołączył: 12 Lis 2020
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PostWysłany: Sro Lis 18, 2020 04:08    Temat postu: Killian Hayes Is The Most Unusual Prospect Odpowiedz z cytatem

Killian Hayes Is The Most Unusual Prospect In A Most Unusual NBA Draft

Killian Hayes had a replica on hand of Jalen Rose’s famed 1994 NBA draft suit, with its wide pinstripes, red polyester and slacks that fit the way curtains fit a bay window. So when he and Rose chatted as part of Mountain Dew’s Green Carpet promotion ahead of Wednesday’s draft, Hayes was able to don the suit and let Rose check it out.

“It was way too heavy for me,” he told me after. “Too baggy pants, too much for me.”

Hayes said he will be dressed up for his go-round in the NBA draft, but he will not be wearing the kind of memorable draft-day suit that has become the norm going back to Rose’s mid-90s sartorial splendor. He also will not be in New York, the traditional home of the draft, but will be at his family home in Orlando.

“I will be in Florida,” Hayes said. “I won’t be wearing a suit with the tie and stuff but I will have something I am comfortable in.”

That will be the usual this time around in the NBA draft, a draft that will be the most unusual in league history, taking place on a November Wednesday rather than a June Thursday, and coming down virtually rather than on the rised planks of a Barclays Center stage. There will be no paisley silk suits, no awkward waits in the green room, no ill-fitting hats from commissioner Adam Silver.

Hayes, in a way, makes for an ideal poster boy for the event, a most unusual prospect in a most unusual draft. He is a 6-foot-5 combo guard who turned 19 in July, a perimeter attacker who developed a respectable 3-point jumper and has a chance to go as high as No. 4 to Chicago on Wendesday. He also has the advantage of being a European prospect, having grown up in France and having turned pro at age 16, when he began playing for Cholet.


NBA talent evaluators always like seeing players who, as teenagers, were able to hold their own in Europe’s professional leagues. Hayes played 33 games and averaged 7.2 points with 3.1 assists in his second season with Cholet. He played last season with Ratiopharm Ulm in Germany, where he averaged 12.8 points and 6.2 assists.

“It wasn’t easy at all,” Hayes said. “My first year, I was still 16, I was still growing into my body, playing against people who are very physically ready, who have been professionals for a while and who were very physical. The physical part was very tough for me.”

International Footing With American Flair
That’s what makes Hayes intriguing He has been through the European grind. But he also has a good bit of USA in his game. His father, DeRon Hayes, was a player at Penn State who forged a career in Europe and settled in France. But he would travel to his family home to Florida often, and Killian was born in Lakeland.

He learned the one-on-one, isolation aspect of American hoops while visiting Florida. But he honed his toughness and team-first view in Europe.

“I am probably more of an international player,” he said. “I spent 18 years of my life in Europe, especially in France. So I would consider me international.”

Hayes has worked to make his game more NBA-friendly since his season in Germany was cut short by the spread of COVID-19 in March. One of the big knocks on Hayes has been that he is too left-hand dominant, but with eight months to focus on developing his right hand, he says, “I rectified that and I can use my right hand as much as I use my left.”

Hayes has played with several former NBA players, including former Suns guard Archie Goodwin in Germany last year. He said the wisdom he has gleaned from them is that the NBA will be well-suited to his style of play, with more room to attack and less of a crowd in the paint.

“On the court, they told me the court is way bigger than in Europe,” Hayes said. “There is basically nobody in the paint and it kind of makes the game a little easier. I think that will help me. In Europe, you can basically clog the lane and just block the lane off. Here, there is nobody able to stay in the lane, it is basically open. The court being wider and open, it definitely helps the driving lane.”

And in Europe, perimeter defenders can get away with low-level muggings on ballhandlers, something not allowed in the NBA. Hayes said he took note of that when he had the opportunity to watch games during the NBA’s restart in Orlando this summer.

“Watching the games in the bubble, I would see fouls getting called and there is so little contact that I know they would never call that type of foul in Europe,” he said. “I feel like it definitely helps the offense and the offensive player getting foul calls like that.”

That should only make Hayes a more productive player. That is where his focus lies now that the draft is nearly upon us. He understands that being drafted will mean he has fulfilled something that his father always wanted, something DeRon always wanted for Killian, too.
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