2019 NBA Mock Draft: Full first round as lottery nears

(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /
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Texas Jaxson Hayes (Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Texas Jaxson Hayes (Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Jaxson Hayes. 18. player. 100. . C. Texas

Age: 18
Height, Weight: 6-foot-11, 220 pounds
Slash Line: .728/.000/.748
Season Averages: 10.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 0.3 APG, 0.6 SPG, 2.2 BPG

The Indiana Pacers were ousted from the postseason’s first round yet again. This time, it was without Victor Oladipo and against a surging Boston Celtics team that played below expectations for most of the 2018-19 campaign.

A guard makes sense here. Oladipo’s status after a torn quad is unknown. Bogdan Bogdanovic, Tyreke Evans, Cory Joseph and Darren Collison will all hit free agency, but this part of the draft has more big men than guards left, and Thaddeus Young is also set for the open market.

Jaxson Hayes is a raw talent. His frame is light for a 6-foot-11 talent, and like the New York Knicks’ Mitchell Robinson, he catches plenty of lobs and has putbacks around the rim. Otherwise, it is physical attributes and shot-blocking skills that drive the Texas product’s stock.

2.2 blocks in 23.3 minutes per game are terrific. His 3.8 blocks in the Per 40 Minutes numbers place a greater microscope on this. It, like Robinson, is easily his calling card upon arrival. Maybe that tempts a team to pick him higher in the first round, but it stems on offensive development to make Hayes more than just a shot blocker.

The upside is long-term for Hayes, but down the road, he can make for an exciting pairing with Myles Turner and lead Indiana into their next phase.