3 Cavs players that’d benefit most from Killian Hayes 2020 NBA Draft pick

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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Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton runs down the floor. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

One of three Cleveland Cavaliers players that’d benefit most from a Hayes pick: Collin Sexton

This season, Collin Sexton established himself as “the guy” for the Cavaliers, and taking into account his insane work ethic, we could see him turn into a multi-time All-star in the coming years. Sexton averaged a team-high 20.8 points on 47.2 percent from the field, to go with 38.0 percent from three-point range in 2019-20, and had 3.0 assists per contest.

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Sexton’s game took a massive leap after the All-Star break as well, as in 11 games then, he averaged 25.5 points on 52.8 percent shooting and 43.1 percent from deep, to go with 4.2 assists per game.

It was during this stretch that he also posted a career-high 41 points against the Boston Celtics. Darius Garland missing what would ultimately be Cleveland’s last five games leading into the league’s novel coronavirus-induced hiatus played into that a bit, but Sexton was clearly on a tear.

Looking at ways Sexton could benefit from Hayes as a teammate, for starters, Hayes’ facilitating abilities and scoring potential would allow Sexton to work more off-ball.

This season, Sexton shot 42.1% from downtown on catch-and-shoot shots, per NBA.com’s shot tracking data, doing so 14.5% of the time.

His catch-and-shoot frequency would peak in January and February where his catch-and-shoot frequency was 17.7 percent and 19.7 percent, respectively. He would shoot 47.8 percent on catch-and-shoot triples in January and 46.9 percent on those in February.

Working more off-ball would help to expand Sexton’s game and more plays for Sexton off-ball could lead to more quality baskets.

Another way that Sexton would benefit from a Hayes selection in the 2020 NBA Draft would be on the defensive end. Statistically, Sexton is one of the worst defenders in the league but, there needs to be some context put behind that. Sexton shares a backcourt with Darius Garland, an undersized guard with little-to-no defensive capability on-ball.

With Hayes in the backcourt instead of Garland, Sexton could go from guarding oversized shooting guards to guarding point guards who are of his size. His athleticism and speed could help him to stay in front of those shifty guards while not being hindered by his strength. Hayes’ size and length gives him the ability to take on those bigger guards that Collin struggles with.

Sexton did show improvement on-ball last season, though, on the plus side, as the year progressed, and he did generate 1.0 steals per game, and Hayes’ presence could allow Sexton to develop further as a team defender.

The second player that’d benefit most from a Hayes selection would be a potential knockdown shooter.