While Hayes could technically withdraw from the draft by May 29 even after signing with an agent, he appears ready to go pro. The Big 12 Freshman of the Year currently projects as a lottery pick, with ESPN’s Jonathan Givony ranking him as 2019’s No. 9 prospect.
In his first – and likely only – season as a Longhorn, Hayes averaged 10.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and an impressive 2.2 BPG in 32 games (23.3 MPG). He wasn’t a huge factor for Texas’ offense, but didn’t miss often when he did shoot, recording a .728 FG%.
In his scouting report on Hayes, Givony notes that the big man is still “fairly raw in a lot of areas” and isn’t a great defensive rebounder. However, Givony adds that Hayes has major upside and an “excellent physical profile.” Because the youngster began playing basketball late, his trajectory gives him plenty of potential for long-term growth, Givony writes.
Hayes joins an ever-growing list of early entrants for the 2019 NBA draft. Here are a few more prospects who have recently declared for the draft:
- Louis King, F, Oregon (freshman) (Twitter link via John Canzano of The Oregonian): No. 35 on ESPN’s big board.
- Quentin Grimes, G, Kansas (freshman) (Twitter link via Grimes): No. 80 on ESPN’s big board.
- Desmond Bane, G, TCU (junior) (Twitter link via Bane)
- V.J. King, F, Louisville (junior) (Twitter link via Zac Jackson of The Athletic)
- Kaleb Wesson, F, Ohio State (sophomore) (Twitter link via Jeff Goodman of Stadium)
- Kenny Wooten, F, Oregon (sophomore) (Twitter link via John Canzano of The Oregonian)