Team: Ratiopharm Ulm
Age: 18 (Turns 19 in July 2020)
Killian Hayes jump shot has improved greatly over the last couple of months and has really made strides. His mechanics are sound as it’s a quick and fluid release. Hayes displays great comfort shooting off the dribble. As a dribbler, he can create enough separation generally and uses screens well to get to his spots. Killian is a great passer. He can make second level reads consistently and he knows how to pass teammates open. He is very effective playing out of the pick and roll. He’ll flash some whip passes with his left hand to an open shooter which is a skill that’ll come in handy in the NBA. His IQ as a passer is growing and he is definitely showing the traits of a floor general. As a driver, he has limited burst so he won’t outrun his man. He does a good job in the open floor and can finish with a variety of moves including euros (all with left hand). He can also attack out of the pick and roll. He is great at using his 6’5 frame to keep defenders on his back and then finish over the big with a floater or mid-range pull-up. He has decent body control too and there is more untapped potential as a finisher. On the defensive end, his frame helps him stay between ball and man. He also has a 6’8 wingspan to contest shots and switch 1-3. He can get through screens decently and will get better as he continues to add muscle. Killian also watches the ball and will play the passing lanes at times using his length.
Hayes’s jump shot hasn’t been consistent throughout his career. He has struggled to expand to the 3 point line. While he has grown very much in this area, he still needs to get more comfortable. At times, Killian isn’t shot ready on catch and shoot opportunities. He has to continue to find that balance between looking for teammates and finding his own shot. Sometimes his mechanics aren’t quite the same on catch and shoot although it has improved. It seems more of a comfort thing than anything. In terms of being a passer, Hayes has some improvements to make. Sometimes he can force the pass. Killian has that desire to feed his teammates and it can be to a fault. Then while he has the vision to make the whip pass to a shooter, the pass isn’t always on target. This is most likely due to a lack of strength. As a dribbler, there is room to improve. It’s more so finding a variety in his moves. Killian Hayes is fairly consistent in his approach and needs to do a better job at reading angles and reacting based on how his defender is playing him. Killian also needs to work on dribbling with his right hand. This isn’t too concerning because he still uses it generally and will attack, but definitely can get stronger and refined. As a finisher, he needs to at least start attempting to use his right hand. He makes shots way more difficult than it has to be. Hayes will make some tough shots, but it’s going to be even harder in the NBA and the length he’ll face at the rim. Another concern is his unwillingness to go all the way to the rim on drives. He pulls up for floaters frequently which is a good tool to have, but he’s got the size to attack and get himself to the line as he only averaged 3.0 FTA per 36 min. On defense, his lateral quickness is his biggest weakness because there is not much he can do to fix it. This follows the “You can’t teach height” rule. You can’t fix his lack of foot speed. This may make him have to guard wings and need someone else to guard his man. Hayes can get caught ball-watching. This leads to many problems. He will lose track of his man, he gets caught playing too much help and doesn’t stay attached to shooters. He really needs to get rid of this habit immediately or else opposing NBA guards will expose him from the 3 point line. Another area of weakness overall will be his ability to push the tempo. He isn’t the fastest player and looks more comfortable playing at a moderate pace.
Killian Hayes is going to be a very good point guard in this league. He has many of the most important tools to succeed. He really understands coverages and can make the next level read to find the open man. Teammates will love playing with him. It’s also necessary that a team’s point guard has a jump shot and he does. It has developed over the last 6 months and shot over 90% from the free-throw line this past season. That tells you the mechanics are sound and he is only 18 years old. Also, this improvement tells you all you need to know about his work ethic. Killian has worked and listened and worked more. He added weight to make him more versatile. He developed a 3 pointer to fit with the NBA. Killian Hayes would benefit greatly from a coach that is going to work with him and challenge him. He would benefit greatly from working with a defensive-minded coach. Killian’s lack of lateral quickness is my most major concern and he needs the right coaching to know exactly how to approach the opposition with his feet and stance. I think it’s definitely possible for Killian to be average to above average on defense but he needs the right home. Also, being on a slower pace team could benefit him, but he should be able to make it work on a faster pace team too. There is a low bust rate with him. Also, despite not having elite quickness, there is major potential for him as a player. It’s possible he’s even an all-star eventually. This kid can really help build an identity for a franchise and should be considered as a top 5 pick.
Article Written by Bradley Patten
Measurements found on The Stepien (https://www.thestepien.com/2020/02/14/killian-hayes-scouting-report-collaboration/)
Stats found on Basketball-Reference (https://www.basketball-reference.com/international/players/killian-hayes-1.html)
Photo credit to ABC 14 News (https://abc14news.com/2020/03/27/2020-nba-draft-prospects-tracker-killian-hayes-patrick-williams-anthony-edwards-make-declarations/)