The Knicks were hoping to work out Killian Hayes before Wednesday’s draft, but a COVID-19 outbreak may prevent that from happening, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. The team had to close its training facility in Tarrytown after three staff members tested positive for the virus on Tuesday.
New York will consider the French point guard with its No. 8 pick and he may be an even stronger possibility if the Knicks trade down. The team has collected plenty of information on Hayes, such as his measurements and medical records, and interviewed him via Zoom.
“Everyone saw the progress and a lot of changes to my game,’’ Hayes said. “What I really improved on, really, is my body. As soon as you see me, there’s a big difference and change from eight months ago to now. … The player that I was back in March is not the same player I am today. I’ve really leveled up a lot.”
Hayes turned 19 in July, making him one of the youngest players in the draft. However, he faced much older competition in Germany and says fellow Frenchmen Frank Ntilikina and Sekou Doumbouya have helped him prepare for the NBA.
“I learned a lot being able to leading a group of grown men,’’ Hayes said. “I’m used to playing against a lot of physicality. People coming at me. That will definitely help me.’’
There’s more draft news to pass along:
- Cole Anthony believes his love for the game will help him succeed in the NBA, writes Chris Dortch of NBA.com. Anthony demonstrated his commitment by returning to the court for North Carolina after undergoing surgery during the season to fix a small meniscus tear in his right knee. “A few things went into my decision to keep playing,” he said. “But first and foremost, I love the sport of basketball. A lot of people say that, but they don’t really mean it. I truly love the game. And I wasn’t going to sit out when I was healthy and I could go.”
- In an interview with Ethan Fuller of Basketball News, Tyrese Maxey said he’s been working to improve his outside shot after hitting just 29% from beyond the arc in college. “You have to be able to shoot the ball at the next level,” Maxey explained. “As a guard my height, and guards in the NBA, period, it’s hard to be on the floor and play in an NBA game without being able to knock down wide-open threes. I feel like I’m a way better shooter than what the numbers say.”
- Teams are relying on Zoom and other technology to handle the unusual circumstances surrounding this year’s draft, writes Mark Medina of USA Today.