There are both benefits and detriments to drafting the 19-year-old. The Knicks front office is going to have to ask themselves many questions regarding a potential make-or-break player.
Will Experience in Europe Benefit Him?
Killian Hayes originally opted to play college basketball in the United States but decided to stay in Europe. Killian Hayes played in the Euroleague, averaging 12 points and 6 assists, shooting 39 percent from the field. Although these stats are less than impressive for a lottery player, Hayes has played in a much more competitive league than the NCAA. Playing in Europe is the closest thing one can get to the level of the NBA. Leon Rose will have to predict whether or not Hayes will play at a similar level if not higher in the NBA.
What Can Killian Hayes add to the Knicks?
The New York Knicks are in desperate need of a point guard who can handle the ball and shoot well consistently. Hayes doesn’t fit the same profile but could still be very useful. The French ball-handler is a great passer and could support R.J. Barrett very well. He has a quick release and has shown little difficulty in getting to the rim. He’s also established himself as one of the best defensive guards in the draft. Hayes shouldn’t struggle too much shooting from the three-point line and could be the option Barrett passes out to when driving in.
What Are the Main Concerns?
Killian Hayes emulates a lot of what Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina has shown. He’s a good defender with a reasonable shot. He makes good passes but requires time to get used to the league. Leon Rose indeed won’t find someone who plays a very similar game that appeals like that. Additionally, with over three turnovers per game, the NBA will cut much less slack than in Europe. In New York, Hayes will potentially find himself in an environment where he is the primary ball-handler on the team, which certainly isn’t ideal for him. Hayes hopes to go somewhere he won’t be the primary ball-handler, giving him time to ease into the NBA.
There’s a possibility of signing a guard who could take the pressure off of Hayes this season. Fans will be waiting impatiently for draft day to arrive in mid-November.