Nigel Hayes (PF, Wisconsin)

Measurables: 6’7.5”, 7’3” wingspan, 254 lbs, 22.4 years old

Strengths

  • Extremely long arms help him make up for lack of height
  • Played his best as a role player during sophomore season
  • Solid defensive metrics
  • Utilizes strength well on drives
  • Role player potential at the NBA level
  • Heady with passes and shot fakes
  • Draws a ton of fouls
  • Strength and length helps him in post
  • Smart player all-around
  • Slides his feet well, uses length to contest

Weaknesses

  • Had a disappointing final 2 seasons at Wisconsin
  • Free throw shooting tailed off during senior season (74% to 59%)
  • 3 point regression from sophomore to junior and senior years
  • Not really a shot blocker even with elite wingspan
  • 37% FG shooting during junior season was awful
  • Takes a lot of ill-advised mid range shots
  • Somewhat inconsistent jumper mechanics
  • Already 22 years old
  • Average rebounder

Overall

  • Hayes was a hot name after his sophomore season, playing an important complementary role alongside Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker on a Wisconsin team that made the national title game. However, he struggled taking a lead role on Wisconsin the last 2 seasons as his efficiency dipped. Still, he’s got a lot of potential as a role player at the NBA level if he can regain his sophomore form, and he projects as a plus defensive player at the 4, with great quickness and length. It’s a matter of him figuring out his shot, but he’s a really smart player who can make the right play, even as he’s only posted middling efficiency the past couple seasons.

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