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NBA Draft 2020: Why experts are predicting Killian Hayes could be the no. 1 pick

Minnesota Timberwolves vs Indiana Pacers
Minnesota Timberwolves vs Indiana Pacers
Modified 10 Nov 2020, 21:43 IST

As NBA Draft 2020 draws closer, rumors and reports on each prospect are only gaining steam. Until now, many thought that the number one pick on Draft night would be one of Lamelo Ball, James Wiseman or Anthony Edwards. However, in an interesting turn of events, it now seems that Killian Hayes could have a genuine shot at being the first overall pick on Draft night.

With pre-draft workouts intensifying, Killian Hayes' stock has skyrocketed. NBA insiders now believe that the Minnesota Timberwolves as well as a few other teams who could trade for the first pick, have been incredibly impressed with the player.

Kevin O'Connor of 'The Ringer' has even placed Kyllian Hayes at the top of his latest mock draft, which did not seem likely not too long back. On that note, let us have a look at a few reasons why Killian Hayes could go as the first overall in the NBA Draft 2020.

NBA Draft 2020: Killian Hayes is arguably the most-polished prospect at the offensive end

Killian Hayes (Credits: San Francisco Chronicle)
Killian Hayes (Credits: San Francisco Chronicle)

Coming out of France, Killian Hayes is one of several prospects in the NBA Draft 2020 who has been playing in a pro league for years.

His playmaking and ability on the floor are far beyond his years, as per scouts. In fact, the player has been compared with the likes of Manu Ginobli. While that is a bold claim, it could be one that turns out to be true.

While his shot from behind the arc could worry fans at times, franchises and fans aren't worried whatsoever. That is because, a player's free throw percentage is often a better indicator of whether they can shoot the 3s in the NBA at an efficient rate.

Coming into the NBA Draft 2020, Killian Hayes has shot at a scorching 87.6% from the charity stripe.


While scouts have said that the 18-year-old needs to be a more vocal leader and improve his finishing ability, those are areas that can be worked on and could improve with time. The upside of Killian Hayes might be far higher that of any other prospect in the NBA Draft 2020, which could prompt teams to select him as the first overall on the night of reckoning.

NBA Draft 2020: Kyllian Hayes has the potential to be elite at the defensive end of the floor

Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota Timberwolves

Let's face it: the Minnesota Timberwolves are in desperate need of some defense. So are the New York Knicks and Charlotte Hornets, teams that could trade up for the first overall pick in the NBA Draft 2020.

For teams that need defense, Lamelo Ball and Anthony Edwards can seem like head-scratching picks. That is because while both players may be awe-inspiring in offense, they just haven't shown as much upside at the other end of the floor.

For teams that need a wing who can also defend, Ball and Edwards might not be the best options.


That is where Killian Hayes stands out among all the other prospects in his draft class. While his lack of athleticism shows up at times, the 18-year-old is a very smart defender. He can shift his feet well and make impressive reads on what his opponent could do next.

These attributes have scouts believing that the player could not only be a good team defender but could also become an elite defensive guard in the future.

With the player having shown serious upside at both ends of the floor, Killian Hayes may beat out everybody else to become the first overall pick in the NBA Draft 2020.

Also Read: NBA Free Agency 2020: The case for and against Dwight Howard signing with the Golden State Warriors this off-season.

Published 09 Nov 2020, 02:26 IST
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