If Cavs go guard in 2020 NBA Draft, Killian Hayes is their all-around guy

Killian Hayes (#3) of Ratiopharm Ulm drives. (Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Killian Hayes (#3) of Ratiopharm Ulm drives. (Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via 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) /

Hayes is the best all-around guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers to target

I’ve hit on other key guard prospects from the Cavs’ perspective in Ball and Edwards, and both have their clear strengths and weaknesses.

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While I obviously don’t have a crystal ball and I can’t say he has the potential for star power such as perhaps Ball does, Hayes fits the all-around tag the most among the high-end 2020 NBA Draft guard prospects it appears.

Hayes does not have Edwards’ 6-foot-5 and 225-pound frame, as he is listed at 6-foot-5 and 187 pounds, per Tankathon. For a 1/2 option in coming years, though, that’s plenty okay, and Hayes is not quite 19 yet; he very well will fill out more in the near future I believe.

So again, though, in terms of what Hayes could bring for the Cavs, it’s his versatility.

Combining all play in 2019-20, Hayes had 11.6 points on 48.2 percent shooting, to go with 5.4 assists and 1.5 steals in 24.8 minutes per contest in competition with Ratiopharm Ulm of the Basketball Bundesliga, per Real GM.

Hayes has a ways to go with his perimeter shooting, and he does not have the natural stroke of Garland, for example, on those looks. Hayes hit just 29.4 percent from deep across those 33 games for Ratiopharm Ulm, and that was elevated in ten Eurocup games in which he shot 39.0 percent from there.

His handle is not at the level of Ball’s, either, or Garland’s, though it’s not a weakness, really, and he does make good decisions in the pick-and-roll. Overall, Hayes has solid playmaking feel, and I’m sure he’d be able to feed players such as Sexton, Love, KPJ and others via dump-offs to cutters and drive-and-kicks.

In that realm, Hayes is very effective, too. Arguably what he does best is driving to the rim, and he has shown, even more so with his dominant left hand, ability to finish through contact. He has the requisite body control needed to hit from skill-oriented execution, too.

While Hayes is not the catch-and-shoot nor pull-up shooter that Iowa State’s Tyrese Haliburton proved to be in the collegiate ranks, Haliburton’s notably unorthodox shot has generated its share of skeptics it seems regarding the NBA level, as has Ball’s.

I could see Hayes become a fairly competent catch-and-shoot three-point shooter, too, and in some instances, that could pay off alongside Sexton, KPJ and even Garland, who has good playmaking instincts.

Additionally, in the defensive perspective, Hayes’ size, ability to deter drivers and feel for getting his hands in passing lanes for a young player stands out.

Hayes could fit well with a number of pieces going forward, too, as other KJG contributors mentioned, and from my perspective, Hayes could make a significant impact in both a more controlled or faster-paced style.