If freshman Texas basketball forward Jaxson Hayes decides to be a one-and-done and declare for the 2019 NBA Draft, it NOLA is a good spot for him?
The 2019 NBA Draft will be here before we know it and the mocks are already taking center stage. With the 2019 NBA Draft looming large for June to ring in the eventual off-season, national pundits are already figuring out how the lottery could shake out. Some of the better Texas Longhorns prospects for the 2019 NBA Draft could grow amid this discussion too.
One key player to watch in the 2019 NBA Draft class that’s rising fast among the potential lottery selections is the true freshman sensation Texas Longhorns basketball forward Jaxson Hayes. The Texas basketball standout Hayes is putting together some amazing numbers during his first year on the Forty Acres.
In the latest 2019 NBA Mock Draft from ESPN, Hayes found himself at the back end of the lottery picks. ESPN had him falling at No. 14 in the first round to the New Orleans Pelicans. That point of the first round is right around where Hayes is hovering in most mock drafts for the 2019 NBA Draft.
Landing with the Pelicans in the 2019 NBA Draft would place Hayes alongside one of the brightest superstars in the entire league now. Superstar former Kentucky Wildcats big man Anthony Davis is likely to still be with the Pelicans through the 2019 NBA off-season. But, we’ll see how long Davis is around in New Orleans as the trade deadline gets closer and closer.
The star senior shooting guard for Texas basketball Kerwin Roach Jr. also fell in this mock from ESPN last week, in the final pick at No. 60 to the Sacramento Kings. Most mocks have Hayes falling in the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft, and Roach Jr. in the second.
However, there were a number of other notable selections from this ESPN mock draft. Some of those included Kansas freshman forward Dedric Lawson at No. 37 to the Kings, Texas Tech guard Jarrett Culver at No. 8 to the Memphis Grizzlies, and Duke forward Zion Williamson to the Cleveland Cavaliers with the top pick.
But, a big question with this mock is how Hayes fits with the Pelicans and what purpose he would serve? If the Pelicans do use a lottery pick to take a big man, it might be to develop him to replace Davis at some point in the next year or two. The rim protecting ability, raw athleticism, and high ceiling Hayes brings makes him a good fit with the Pelicans.
Pairing Hayes with a generational talent like Davis is a good situation for him to wind up in since he does need some work and development at the NBA level. Hayes could be a building block for the Pelicans if that’s where he lands in the 2019 NBA Draft, so this is a good spot for him.