Most NBA followers are simply now studying the identify Killian Hayes, the 19-year-old French-American level guard who might be a high 5 choose in Wednesday evening’s draft.
The shifty 6-foot-5 lefty is amongst a number of worldwide prospects, persevering with the NBA’s international attain. Others embody Deni Avdija, Israel; Théo Maledon, France; Leandro Bolmaro, Argentina; and Aleksej Pokusevski, Serbia.
There have been 108 worldwide gamers on opening-night rosters for the 2019-20 season. That quantity might enhance this 12 months and Hayes will probably be one the brand new faces.
He has the power to create area for himself or teammates. He’ll profit from the NBA’s defensive 3-seconds rule and is efficient working the pick-and-roll. In Europe, defenders can clog the lane.
“When he will get within the paint he is capable of finding his shooters, he is capable of finding his massive males,” stated Peyton Siva Jr., who performs for Alba Berlin within the German league. “That is when he is extra harmful, when he is capable of create for others.”
Taking part in in Ulm — Albert Einstein’s hometown in Germany — Hayes confirmed he has room to enhance. He was inconsistent from 3-point vary (21.8% in 20 home league video games; 39% in 10 EuroCup video games), however is artful with the basketball.
“He hit me with a extremely good transfer on the high of the important thing — made me stumble and fall,” stated Siva, who performed one season with the Detroit Pistons. Hayes completed with 20 factors and 10 assists within the loss to Siva’s group.
Though quiet, Hayes doesn’t lack confidence.
Hayes instructed the French sports activities every day L’Équipe about questions NBA groups ask throughout pre-draft interviews. One requested if he was a “canine” on the courtroom, and Hayes replied sure. What sort? He stated, “Rottweiler.”
Hayes was born in Florida however grew up largely in his mom’s hometown of Cholet in western France the place his American father performed basketball.
DeRon Hayes performed at Penn State and in Europe. Killian debuted for Cholet at age 16.
“Killian’s dad could be at each apply,” ex-teammate Antywane Robinson stated, “in the identical spot on the high of the stands. Their relationship is an exquisite one.”
Hayes’ mom, Sandrine, by no means missed a recreation and cousins would even be in attendance.
He had all of Cholet buzzing about his recreation. Hayes earned co-MVP honors on the Jordan Model Basic Worldwide Sport in 2017. He additionally performed for French youth groups earlier than declining an invitation to play for a French Below-20 group. He later moved to Germany.
Hayes has spent the previous few months in Lakeland, Florida — his father’s hometown — about 40 miles southwest of the NBA’s bubble in Walt Disney World.
He is been understanding with one other Lakeland native, Dwayne Bacon of the Charlotte Hornets.
The studious Hayes stated in a media video name that he tends to investigate fellow left-handers like James Harden, Goran Dragic and Manu Ginobili.
Hayes stated his agent instructed him to count on to be drafted someplace between No. 2 and 10.
Another worldwide NBA prospects to keep watch over:
Scouts actually like the flexibility of the 19-year-old from Israel however they aren’t as enamored by his poor free throw capturing. Avdija says to not fear.
At 6-8, he can play a number of positions and does a little bit of every little thing. His stat line from the 2019 under-20 European Championships closing: 23 factors, 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 blocks and 1 steal. Israel beat Spain for the gold and Avdija was the event MVP.
In 59 video games for Maccabi Tel Aviv final season, he shot slightly below 59% from the free throw line and 33% from 3-point vary.
“It is a matter of time and I believe it is a matter of the top,” Avdija stated of the dismal share in a media video name. “I believe I can shoot even above 70%. I will get there.”
Simply do not examine him to Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic — or anybody else for that matter.
“I simply need to be the most effective Deni Avdija I might be,” he stated. “I simply do not need to be in comparison with anyone.”
The 19-year-old Maledon is a French level guard who attracts comparisons to Tony Parker.
Maledon was 17 when he was named “finest younger participant” of the French league in 2018-19. That places him in good firm. Previous winners embody present and former NBA gamers Frank Ntilikina, Evan Fournier, Clint Capela, Boris Diaw and Parker.
Maledon and Parker grew up in the identical metropolis: Rouen within the Normandy area. And like Parker, Maledon has appreciable professional expertise taking part in in France — and within the EuroLeague.
He additionally performed for Parker’s group, ASVEL within the metropolis of Lyon. Parker purchased the group whereas he was nonetheless taking part in for the San Antonio Spurs.
Maledon, 6-4 and about 175 kilos, missed time early final season with a shoulder harm and acknowledges that his draft inventory could have slipped a bit.
“That type of stays in my head. I obtained a chip on my shoulder for that,” he stated in a media video name. However “it is solely on the courtroom you can show issues.”
Bolmaro of Argentina is one other versatile worldwide prospect. At 6-6 and 185 kilos, he can play small ahead and each guard positions.
The 20-year-old Bolmaro can also be gaining expertise coming off the bench for Barcelona in Spain’s robust home league in addition to the continental membership competitors EuroLeague.
Bolmaro is snug utilizing choose and rolls and attacking the paint to both end himself or cross to teammates in area.
Serbian 7-footer Aleksej Pokusevski has largely performed within the Greek second division. NBA followers won’t keep in mind however that is the place Giannis Antetokounmpo performed earlier than being drafted in 2013.
Not that anybody is evaluating the 18-year-old Pokusevski with the Greek Freak, however the Serbian has impressed scouts along with his ball dealing with, capturing and defending.
Taking part in for the Olympiacos B group, Pokusevski averaged practically 10 factors per recreation, 7.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks.