Jaxson Hayes

Pelicans Sign Hayes, Alexander-Walker

The Pelicans have inked their two first-rounders from the 2019 NBA Draft not named Zion, agreeing to terms with both big man Jaxson Hayes (No. 8 overall) and guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker (No. 17 overall), per the NBA.com’s transactions log.

Assuming both players signed for the standard 120% of the rookie-scale, Hayes will earn $4,862,040 in his rookie season and $22,118,492 over the life of the contract, while Alexander-Walker will earn $2,964,840 in his first season and $14,349,113 over four years.

In his lone season at Texas, Hayes appeared in 32 games, averaging 10.0 PPG. 5.0 RPG, and an impressive 2.2 BPG en route to being named the 2018/19 Big 12 Rookie of the Year.

As for Alexander-Walker, he averaged 16.2 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 4.0 APG during his sophomore season for Virginia Tech after averaging 10.7 points and 3.8 rebounds per game as a freshman. For his efforts last year, he was named 2018/19 Third Team All-ACC.

Hawks, Pelicans Finalize De’Andre Hunter Trade

JULY 7: The Pelicans and Hawks have officially finalized their trade, which was initially agreed upon on draft night. The deal looks like this:

  • Hawks acquire Solomon Hill, the draft rights to De’Andre Hunter (No. 4 pick), the draft rights to Jordan Bone (No. 57 pick), and a conditional 2023 second-round pick.
  • Pelicans acquire the draft rights to Jaxson Hayes (No. 8 pick), the draft rights to Nickeil Alexander-Walker (No. 17 pick), the draft rights to Marcos Louzada Silva (No. 35 pick), and the Cavaliers’ 2020 first-round pick (top-10 protected).
    • Note: The Cavaliers’ protected 2020 first-rounder will become two second-round picks (2021 and 2022) if it’s not conveyed in 2020.

JUNE 20: The Pelicans have reached an agreement with the Hawks on a trade that will send the No. 4 overall pick to Atlanta, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link) first reported that the two teams were close to a deal.

According to Wojnarowski, New Orleans is receiving the Nos. 8, 17, and 35 picks in tonight’s draft in exchange for Nos. 4 and 57, along with Solomon Hill‘s expiring contract and a future second-round pick. The Pelicans will also acquire Cleveland’s heavily protected 2020 first-rounder from the Hawks, Woj adds (via Twitter).

League sources tell Wojnarowski (Twitter link) that the Hawks are focused on drafting Virginia forward De’Andre Hunter with the fourth overall pick. A report earlier this week indicated that Atlanta was “very high” on Hunter, who reportedly didn’t work out for any teams besides besides the Hawks.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reports (via Twitter) that Hunter and Duke forward Cam Reddish are the two players Atlanta has targeted at No. 4, adding that the team is leaning toward Hunter. According to Jake Fischer of SI.com (Twitter link), Reddish’s camp has believed that the Hawks would keep No. 10 in a trade-up scenario, potentially to draft the Duke prospect with that selection.

Atlanta will indeed keep No. 10 in this deal with New Orleans. Having initially held six picks in the top 44, the Hawks have now traded away five of those picks (and taken on Hill’s unwanted $12.76MM salary for next season), but still hold Nos. 4, 10, and 57. They’re in position to draft a pair of top-10 prospects, including one they were willing to move up four spots for.

As for the Pelicans, new head of basketball operations David Griffin continues to stockpile assets — the team now holds five of the top 39 selections in this draft, including Nos. 1, 8, and 17. New Orleans also got out from under the final year of Hill’s contract, creating additional cap flexibility for free agency.

Technically, the Pelicans haven’t yet officially acquired the No. 4 pick from the Lakers, since the Anthony Davis blockbuster will have to be finalized in July. The same is true of the No. 17 pick, which the Hawks are acquiring in the not-yet-completed Allen Crabbe deal. Those trades will be officially finalized once the new league year begins, then this deal between New Orleans and Atlanta can be formally completed.

The Cavaliers’ pick headed to New Orleans in this swap is currently top-10 protected for 2020 and will become two second-rounders (in 2021 and 2022) if it doesn’t convey next season. It’s not clear if the Hawks added any additional protections, but given Cleveland’s outlook, it looks like that pick probably won’t end up being a real first-rounder.

Speaking of the Cavaliers, they’re receiving a ton of interest for the No. 5 pick, according to Jake Fischer of SI.com, who points out (via Twitter) that that could be the spot for Darius Garland now. The Vanderbilt point guard was previously considered the favorite to be the No. 4 pick.

Davis Deal Could Be Delayed If Leonard Remains Undecided

The Anthony Davis trade could be delayed if Kawhi Leonard doesn’t choose a team by noon ET on Saturday, ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk and Bobby Marks report.

The complex, four-way series of deals involving the Lakers, Pelicans, Hawks and Wizards can become official Saturday. The Lakers would lose their ability to give Leonard a max contract if any of the other teams involved decline to delay the trade. However, those teams are expected to cooperate, according to Marks.

The Lakers and Pelicans agreed on the initial trade in which Los Angeles sent Lonzo BallBrandon IngramJosh Hart and three first-round picks to New Orleans for Davis. Los Angeles opened up a $32MM salary slot by agreeing to ship Moritz WagnerIsaac BongaJemerrio Jones and a 2022 second-round pick to Washington, which sent cash to New Orleans. Davis also agreed to waive his $4MM trade kicker.

New Orleans and Atlanta made a big draft-night swap as an offshoot of the Davis trade. New Orleans agreed to move the No. 4 overall pick, forward De’Andre Hunter, they received from the Lakers as well as a late second-rounder along with Solomon Hill‘s contract to the Hawks for two first-rounders, center Jaxson Hayes and guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker, an early second-round pick and a first-rounder next year.

Without the delay, the Lakers could only offer Leonard a four-year, $127MM contract — $11MM less than the max over the life of the deal.

Leonard’s indecision also may cause some other delays.

The Pelicans won’t be able to sign free agent guard J.J. Redick until the Hill trade is finished. Hill is ticketed to the Grizzlies in another trade once the Davis deal is completed. The rookies involved in those proposed transactions, as well as the three young players headed to the Wizards, aren’t allowed to play summer league ball until everything is finalized.

Draft Rumors: Knicks, Barrett, Herro, Porter, More

Although they brought in Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland for a last-minute workout today, the Knicks remain locked in on selecting Duke forward R.J. Barrett with the No. 3 overall pick, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

With just over 24 hours to go until the 2019 NBA draft, rumors continue to trickle in about which prospects other teams might be targeting with their first-round picks. Jeremy Woo and Jake Fischer of SI.com suggest that league sources believe the Celtics – who hold Nos. 14, 20, and 22 – have serious interest in Kentucky sharpshooter Tyler Herro. The SI duo also reports that the Spurs – who pick at 19 and 29 – are among the teams with real interest in Croatian forward Luka Samanic.

Woo and Fischer share a few more tidbits in their latest mock draft, writing that the Hornets, Heat, and Celtics are all showing “a degree of interest” in USC’s Kevin Porter Jr., who could be in play to come off the board near the end of the lottery.

League sources also tell SI.com that the Magic have put the No. 46 pick on the trade block and could sell it, with the Lakers, Wizards, and Trail Blazers among the teams believed to have interest in purchasing a second-rounder.

Here’s more on the draft:

  • Kevin Porter Jr. (USC), Nicolas Claxton (Georgia), and Mfiondu Kabengele (Florida State) have received last-minute invites to the Green Room for Thursday’s NBA draft, reports ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Twitter links). That increases the number of prospects expected to be in attendance in the Green Room to 23, Givony notes.
  • Speaking today to reporters, including Jake Fischer of SI.com (Twitter link), Texas center Jaxson Hayes said he only worked out for two teams, the Bulls and Hawks, during the pre-draft process. Those clubs hold three top-10 picks between them.
  • UNC guard Coby White also confirmed his pre-draft workouts today, as Gina Mizell of The Athletic relays (via Twitter). White worked out for four lottery teams, including the Suns and Bulls, who are both believed to be in the market for a point guard.
  • Terry Harris, the younger brother of pending free agent Tobias Harris, is seeing his stock rise, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer relays (Twitter link). The younger Harris has worked out for the Suns and Thunder, among many other teams.

Chris Crouse contributed to this post.

Draft Notes: Green Room, Mourning, Simon, Alexander-Walker

Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, R.J. Barrett, Darius Garland, De’Andre Hunter, Jarrett Culver, Coby White, Cam Reddish and Jaxson Hayes were the first nine prospects invited to sit in the Green Room at the NBA draft, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony tweets. There were no surprises on the list, as the first eight comprise Givony’s top 8 prospects and Hayes is ranked No. 11. The invites reinforce that all nine will be selected in the lottery and probably the top 10. Another 11 invites are expected to be made, Givony adds.

We have more draft news:

  • Trey Mourning has a workout lined up with the Heat, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel tweets. Mourning, son of longtime Heat star Alonzo Mourning, averaged 6.3 PPG for Georgetown last season. The 6’9” forward previously visited the Wizards and Kings, Winderman adds.
  • Guard Justin Simon (St. John’s) will work out for the Thunder on Thursday, Adam Zagoria of the New York Times tweets.
  • Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Givony’s No. 22 overall prospect, worked out for the Pistons on Friday, Rod Beard of the Detroit News tweets. The combo guard, who averaged 16.2 PPG and 4.0 APG for Virginia Tech last season, has already visited the Hornets and Celtics, Beard adds.
  • Point guard Tremont Waters, Givony’s No. 49 overall prospect, will visit the Pacers and Spurs, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington tweets. Waters will probably not do any on-court work as he’s still rehabbing a right ankle sprain suffered at the NBA combine, Candace Buckner of the Washington Post tweets.

Southeast Notes: Wizards, Hayes, Heat, Draft

The Wizards will work out six prospects on Wednesday, according to the team’s website. Bryce Brown (Auburn), Harry Froling (Marquette 2018), Jessie Govan (Georgetown), Frank Howard (Syracuse), Anthony Lee (Kutztown), and Myles Stephens (Princeton) will all participate in drills for Washington.

Here’s more from around the Southeast Division:

  • The Heat have invited Jaxson Hayes for a workout, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. However, the big man has no plans to visit Miami, as he’s expected to be selected before the Heat pick at No. 13.
  • Charles Cooke has worked out for the Heat, Jackson writes in the same piece. Cooke, who went undrafted out of Dayton in 2017, is in play for the team’s summer league team.
  • The Heat gave Duncan Robinson a $250K guarantee and Yante Maten a $100K guarantee in their respective contracts with the team, Jackson relays (same piece). Both players have trigger dates down the line that would bring additional guaranteed salary.
  • The Magic have worked out Cameron Johnson (UNC) and Kris Clyburn (UNLV), according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic (Twitter link). Orlando has the Nos. 16 and 46 overall picks in the draft.

Hawks Notes: Draft, No. 8, Reddish, Fernando

The Mavericks agreed to send their top-5 protected 2019 first-rounder to the Hawks as part of the Luka Doncic draft night trade last June. Entering the NBA draft lottery, Dallas had hoped to keep this year’s pick and delay conveying the selection.

Assistant GM Keith Grant told Chris Kirschner of the Athletic that the Mavs would have liked to add another young piece to the Doncic-Kristaps Porzingis nucleus. Still, the team views last year’s trade as a win for both parties.

“We actually do believe that,” Grant said about both teams getting the guy they wanted. “We evaluated every player and thought Luka was our guy. Atlanta obviously had Trae as theirs, and so we had a deal.”

The trade between Dallas and Atlanta had been agreed to prior to the actual draft but was contingent on both Doncic and Trae Young being available at No. 3 and No. 5, respectively.

The Hawks are armed with two top-10 draft selections in this year’s draft and Kirschner passes along more from Atlanta:

  • It would be surprising if the Hawks didn’t pick a wing, assuming they stay at the No. 8 spot, Kirschner hears from sources within the organization. Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver has been linked to Atlanta but it’s hard to envision him falling out of the top seven.
  • Zion Williamson and Ja Morant are widely expected to be the top two picks in the draft. One Hawks executive told Kirschner that he expects three other players—R.J. Barrett, Darius Garland, and Coby White—to be unavailable when Atlanta makes its first selection at No. 8. The Suns and Bulls both covet upgrades at the point guard spot and Garland and White are the best available after Morant.
  • The Hawks have interest in Cam Reddish. While he failed to live up to lofty expectations at Duke, there’s “not much doubt” within Atlanta’s organization that playing alongside Young, John Collins, and Kevin Huerter would allow him to reach his potential, Kirschner adds.
  • Coach Lloyd Pierce prefers a center who can stretch the floor but that wouldn’t stop the team from selecting Jaxson Hayes if he’s the best player on the board at No. 10. “Roster building isn’t always about trying to perfectly pair up guys,” a source tells Kirschner.
  • Multiple sources tell Kirschner that the team likes Bruno Fernando out of Maryland. The big man likely isn’t in play with one of the Hawks‘ two top-10 selections, but the franchise holds three second-round picks (No. 35, No. 41, No. 44).

Full List Of 2019 NBA Draft Combine Participants

The NBA has revealed its list of 66 players who have been invited to next week’s draft combine in Chicago and who are expected to attend. The combine will take place from May 15-19.

While a small handful of top prospects often skip the event, that won’t be the case this year — Zion Williamson and Ja Morant are on the league’s list of 66 names, along with R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish, Jarrett Culver, Darius Garland, De’Andre Hunter, and many more. Of course, those top prospects may not participate fully in all of the workouts and scrimmages at the combine.

A few more names figure to be added to this list, as a select number of the 40 draft-eligible prospects participating in the G League Elite Camp earlier in the week are expected to receive invites to the combine.

Here’s the full list of 66 names announced by the NBA today, in alphabetical order:

  1. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech (sophomore)
  2. R.J. Barrett, G/F, Duke (freshman)
  3. Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky (freshman)
  4. Darius Bazley, F, Princeton HS (OH) (N/A)
  5. Bol Bol, C, Oregon (freshman)
  6. Jordan Bone, G, Tennessee (junior)
  7. Brian Bowen, F, USA (born 1998)
  8. Ky Bowman, G, Boston College (junior)
  9. Ignas Brazdeikis, F, Michigan (freshman)
  10. Moses Brown, C, UCLA (freshman)
  11. Brandon Clarke, F, Gonzaga (junior)
  12. Nicolas Claxton, F, Georgia (sophomore)
  13. Jarrett Culver, G/F, Texas Tech (sophomore)
  14. Luguentz Dort, G, Arizona State (freshman)
  15. Devon Dotson, G, Kansas (freshman)
  16. Carsen Edwards, G, Purdue (junior)
  17. Bruno Fernando, F, Maryland (sophomore)
  18. Daniel Gafford, F/C, Arkansas (sophomore)
  19. Darius Garland, G, Vanderbilt (freshman)
  20. Quentin Grimes, G, Kansas (freshman)
  21. Kyle Guy, G, Virginia (junior)
  22. Jaylen Hands, G, UCLA (sophomore)
  23. Jaxson Hayes, F/C, Texas (freshman)
  24. Tyler Herro, G, Kentucky (freshman)
  25. Jaylen Hoard, F, Wake Forest (freshman)
  26. Talen Horton-Tucker, G, Iowa State (freshman)
  27. De’Andre Hunter, F, Virginia (sophomore)
  28. Ty Jerome, G, Virginia (junior)
  29. Cameron Johnson, G, UNC (senior)
  30. Keldon Johnson, F, Kentucky (freshman)
  31. Mfiondu Kabengele, C, Florida State (sophomore)
  32. Louis King, F, Oregon (freshman)
  33. Romeo Langford, G, Indiana (freshman)
  34. Dedric Lawson, F, Kansas (junior)
  35. Jalen Lecque, G, Brewster Academy (NH) (N/A)
  36. Nassir Little, F, UNC (freshman)
  37. Charles Matthews, G, Michigan (junior)
  38. Jalen McDaniels, F, San Diego State (sophomore)
  39. Ja Morant, G, Murray State (sophomore)
  40. Zach Norvell Jr., G, Gonzaga (sophomore)
  41. Jaylen Nowell, G, Washington (sophomore)
  42. Jordan Nwora, F, Louisville (sophomore)
  43. Chuma Okeke, F, Auburn (sophomore)
  44. KZ Okpala, F, Stanford (sophomore)
  45. Miye Oni, G/F, Yale (junior)
  46. Eric Paschall, F, Villanova (senior)
  47. Shamorie Ponds, G, St. John’s (junior)
  48. Jordan Poole, G, Michigan (sophomore)
  49. Jontay Porter, F, Missouri (sophomore)
  50. Kevin Porter Jr, G, USC (freshman)
  51. Neemias Queta, C, Utah State (freshman)
  52. Cam Reddish, F, Duke (freshman)
  53. Naz Reid, C, LSU (freshman)
  54. Isaiah Roby, F, Nebraska (junior)
  55. Luka Samanic, F, Croatia (born 2000)
  56. Admiral Schofield, G, Tennessee (senior)
  57. Simisola Shittu, F, Vanderbilt (freshman)
  58. Killian Tillie, F, Gonzaga (junior)
  59. PJ Washington, F, Kentucky (sophomore)
  60. Tremont Waters, G, LSU (sophomore)
  61. Quinndary Weatherspoon, G, Missippi State (senior)
  62. Coby White, G, UNC (freshman)
  63. Kris Wilkes, G, UCLA (sophomore)
  64. Grant Williams, F, Tennessee (junior)
  65. Zion Williamson, F, Duke (freshman)
  66. Dylan Windler, G, Belmont (senior)

Rui Hachimura (Gonzaga) and Matisse Thybulle (Washington) are among the potential first-round picks who aren’t on the NBA’s list of combine participants, as noted by Jeremy Woo of SI.com and ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Twitter links).

Jaxson Hayes Declares For 2019 NBA Draft

Texas freshman forward/center Jaxson Hayes has entered the 2019 NBA draft and is hiring an agent, the school announced on Thursday morning in a press release.

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: