NBA Draft: 4 Centers the Washington Wizards Could Draft at #9

Washington Wizards Bol Bol (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Bol Bol (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
2 of 5
Washington Wizards Jaxson Hayes
Washington Wizards Jaxson Hayes (Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Jaxson Hayes is pretty unanimously ranked as the top center prospect in this year’s draft. He’s young, explosive, long and overflowing with potential.

Like other recent Texas Longhorns Myles Turner and Jarrett Allen, Hayes’s shot-blocking ability is what really wow’s. Only 19 years old, Hayes has a freaky wingspan of 7’4″, allowing him to protect the rim at an elite level and erase any shots put up in his atmosphere.

Averaging barely a half of basketball in college (23 minutes), Hayes averaged an astounding 2.2 blockers per game. Per 40 minutes, he averaged 3.8 blocks, and a whopping 5.7 blocker per 100 possessions, according to Sports Reference.

Hayes could help the Wizards rim protection on day 1, but the rest of his game needs work. In just one year at the collegiate level, he proved he can finish at the rim and has a decent back to the basket game, helping him shoot an unreal 72.8 percent from the floor. However, Hayes showed very little as he moved further away from the basket. In fact, Hayes took zero three-point attempts while at Texas. Think of peak Los Angeles Clippers DeAndre Jordan but without the rebounding ability.

His rebounding leaves a lot to be desired. Despite measuring 6’11” and starting in 21 of 32 games for the Longhorns last season, Hayes only recorded one game with double-digit rebounds. He finished the year averaging a mere 5.0 rebounds per game.

Hayes doesn’t project to be a traditional, plodding big man, but his offensive skill set doesn’t suggest he can excel anywhere beyond the low block. At least not now.