Hayes to Washington just feels like it’s destined to happen. It’s hard to see Hayes breaking into the top 10 unless he does something at the combine or teams fall in love with him during the pre-draft process. It surely only takes one team to reach on Hayes and steal him from the Wizards but remember he’s having a season comparable to another Texas one-and-done center, who lasted until the 22nd pick in 2017.
Allen brought the potential of a 3-point shot as well as better defensive discipline, fouling less often. However, Hayes may be benefiting from a weaker center class as well as a poor draft class overall and the recent history of Texas centers, from Myles Turner to Allen to Mo Bamba, doing well in the NBA after leaving Shaka Smart’s program. Teams will be googly-eyed over the freakish length and tantalizing functional athleticism Hayes brings but the late lottery feels like his ceiling.
This is good news for Washington, who desperately needs a modern center to complement Bradley Beal and John Wall (they are typed in that order forevermore now that Beal has broken out fully). Hayes is far enough along the development curve that he will be able to contribute during the guard tandem’s primes while also giving the Wizards another young weapon going forward.