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BIRTHDATE: 7/27/01

POSITION: Point Guard

HEIGHT: 6'5"

WEIGHT: 195 lbs

SCHOOL/ TEAM: Ratiopharm Ulm (Germany)

CLASS: International


  • Good size for a point guard

  • Crafty ball handler and passer

  • Very good court vision and passing instincts

  • At his best in transition

  • Smooth, fluid and agile with good feet

  • Capable shooter off the dribble

  • Can create his own shot off the bounce

  • Plays with flash, flare and confidence

  • Excellent free throw shooter

  • Efficient finisher around the rim


  • Outside shooting 

  • Low release on shot

  • Turnover prone

  • Swings for the home run pass over the simple play

  • Lacks ideal explosiveness and burst

  • Right hand


After studying film of all the top prospects in the 2020 draft, In my opinion Killian Hayes was the most impressive player that I scouted. 


I wouldn’t have a problem with Hayes being the number 1 pick but he could slip depends on the draft order as teams like Golden State, Minnesota and Atlanta don’t have a need for a point guard. 


Killian Hayes game is perfected for today’s NBA game. He’s 6’5 playmaker with a high upsides as a scorer, which will make him even more of a threat as a passer.  At a young age, excellent feel for the game is on full display when put in pick & roll situations.. 


Passing receivers open is often a term related to NFL quarterbacks that pass into an area where only their receiver can make the catch. Hayes has that special skill where he passes the lob man open when he’s manipulating the defense with his eyes... He has excellent timing and snap on his passes and does a good job of reading defenses and spreading the ball all over the floor...  


When the ball is in his left hand as it often is, he capable of making every pass. He finds the big if he’s rolling to the rim or popping out for 3 and  loves to whiz skip passes to open shooters in the corner...


Hayes is not only playmaker out of pick & roll, he’s also a creative passer with great court vision and plays with a flash and flare that will guarantee him to be on highlight reels all over social media. 


He often whips live dribble one handed skip passes across the court to open teammates on the wing for 3s.. His knack for making these flashy passes is a testament to his  peripheral vision and instincts... 


I believe Hayes is the type of point guard that players will enjoy playing with. His unselfishness will the game easier and he’ll find ways to put his teammates in position for easy scoring opportunities..


Despite concerns about his perceived lack of pop, burst, speed and elite level athleticism, Hayes is an excellent finisher in the open court. 


He’s always in control and seems to move at the same speed  whether he’s in transition or in the half court vs a set defense. 


He uses a variety of instinctive Europe steps, side step and hesitation moves to get around defenders to get to the basket where is an excellent finisher.  Despite being one of the youngest players playing high level minutes on a competitive team, Hayes was one of the best transition finishers in all of Europe. In 33 games this season he converted nearly 80% of shots in transition. 



I know, I know the mid range shot is considered a bad shot in today’s NBA but I believe it’s still a good shot if you’re going to be the primary playmaker or have the ball in your hands a lot...   


In Killian’s case I feel his shooting off the dribble will be an asset as she’s shown he’s a capable shooter off the bounce as he knocked down nearly 39% of his jumpers off the dribble. 


He averaged a little less than 1 PPP... in comparison only about 30 NBA players had a higher PPP on jumpers off the dribble with a minimum of 100 attempts...


So I’m buying stock in Hayes potential as as a guard that can score on 3 levels off the dribble...  Which leads me to my next point.. 


His best skill at this point in his career is his passing but I like his upside and believe he’ll be a 20 ppg scorer in his prime due to his good instincts and creativity with the ball. 


He has advanced footwork and good balance and coordination that make up for what he may lack in elite athleticism. 


Despite not having an explosive 1st step, he manages to get to his spots with his crafty ball handling.. His has an array  crossovers, hesitations and change of paces moves to beat defenders off the dribble..


Out of all the point or combo guards projected to be selected in the lottery, only 2 converted over 58% of their shots at the rim. Hayes and Iowa State’s Tyrese Haliburton were the best finishers according to Synergy sports tech among a group that included LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, Cole Anthony, RJ Hampton and Tyrese Maxey.. Hayes shot an efficient 58.6% around the basket this season and theres plenty of room for improvement as he rarely if ever used his right hand…


I strongly believe the floater or runner is a shot every point guard must have in their arsenal. While the NBA is getting smaller there are still guys like Anthony Davis, Rudy Gobert and Hassan Whiteside protecting the paint and altering shots. 


Hayes has shown a soft floater package that he’ll need to finish over bigs as he adjusts to NBA athleticism & length...




Areas for improvement 


In my opinion there are 3 main areas I’d like to see Killian Hayes make improvements on this summer… The first one is to improve as an outside shooter…. Especially in catch & shoot situations .. He only shot 22% on catch & shoot jumpers this season. 


He mostly had the ball in his hands and only attempted 36 catch and shoot jumpers this season so it’s a small sample size.. and 25 of the 36 were unguarded according to Synergy Sports. This an area he’ll have to improve on greatly. He has good touch and shot over 87% from the foul line so I believe improving his shooting is an easy fix…



As noted in his Strengths video, Hayes is a phenomenal passer with excellent feel and court vision.. However, he has a tendency to try to squeeze passes into tight spaces when he’s looking for the roll man… He also gets himself in trouble when he fires high risk skip passes across his body. For the most part he’s an accurate passer but there are times when his passes end up in the front row… Hayes is a freelancer and needs freedom to play to his strengths so a coach is going to have to live with his gambles and risky plays, but he’ll have to try to limit his wild turnovers as much as possible…


Lastly, Hayes must improve his right hand. He’s very left handed dominant and rarely passes or finishes with his right hand. When he’s forced to his right he always looks  to get back to his left hand or ends up taking  a tough contested jumper.... 

 Rafael Barlowe - May 4, 2020

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