Three reasons the Cavs should select Killian Hayes in 2020 NBA Draft

Ratiopharm Ulm guard Killian Hayes handles the ball. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
Ratiopharm Ulm guard Killian Hayes handles the ball. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /
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Killian Hayes, Cleveland Cavaliers
Ratiopharm Ulm guard Killian Hayes passes the ball. (Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /

Reason #1 the Cavs should draft Hayes: Playmaking ability

One of the largest problems hanging over the Cavaliers team is their lack of productive ball movement. This is made clearest when looking at the assist numbers of the team.

Looking at the current 2019-2020 season, the team ranks 24th out of 30 teams in total assists. As of now, Cleveland totals 1500 total assists and 23.1 assists per game, as noted by This is an 11.4 percent increase from where they were last year 65 games into the season.

However, with the addition of Darius Garland to the team, along with Collin Sexton becoming more comfortable in the NBA, the team still averaging such low assist numbers is very disappointing, and those two have often had problems getting pieces such as Kevin Love the ball via entry passes and elbow looks. As a result of this, it could be necessary for the team to draft a player that is a much more natural playmaker, and that’s where Hayes comes to mind.

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He has made a major jump in his most recent season in international play, and has displayed that in both the G-BBL and in the Eurocup. In 10 games of Eurocup play, Hayes averaged 6.2 assists per game, and had 5.25 per outing in 20 games in the G-BBL this season, per Real GM.

Hayes has not shown the scoring capability of the likes of Sexton, and his three-point shooting hit rate of 21.8 percent in G-BBL play this season has been underwhelming, but he is a good driver, and he has much better feel than that any of Cleveland’s young guards in terms of pick-and-roll passing.

Plus, at 6-foot-5, his size would be a big upgrade over time over Garland, who is only 6-foot-1 and is more of a natural score-first player, and Hayes’ playmaking could be a crucial factor into the Cavs becoming a postseason contender in coming years in the Eastern Conference.

Lack of playmaking is their largest weakness, as though Garland has led the squad with 3.9 assists per game this season, that’s hardly a considerable amount of helpers to lead a team, and he continually forces too many lobs and has not fit alongside Sexton well at all.

Along with that, Garland playing only five games in college at Vanderbilt due to a meniscus tear didn’t help his cause. Meanwhile, Hayes, a lefty with good feel getting the ball to a variety of players, has already shown his playmaking ability in a high quality professional league. That playmaking feel indicates he is much more of a safe bet to have this skill carry over to the NBA than Garland had coming into the Association, though Garland’s shooting skill is still a key bright spot.

Anyhow, that professional exposure leads me into the second reason Cleveland should draft Hayes, who will turn 19 this summer.