Player Name: Jaxson Hayes
Team: New Orleans Pelicans
Years Pro: 2
Draft: 2019, First Round #8
Number of Top Shot Moments: 6
Fun Fact: Hayes grew from 6 feet in his freshman year of high school to 6’11 by his senior year.
This is #7 in a series where I will highlight some of the best young players in the NBA to add to your Top Shot collection who you might not have heard much about. No, I’m not talking about your Lebrons, your Lukas, or your Currys, I’m talking about emerging stars whose popularity should only continue to rise in the years to come.
Jaxon Hayes is a big man for the Pelicans who averaged 7.5 points this season, not really finding his role until late into the year. In Hayes’ last 10 games, he averaged 13.2 points on 57% from the field and 42.7% from three. Granted, he only attempted 14 threes in this span, but his success shows he has a chance to develop a jump shot and be great partner to Zion
Williamson in the Pelicans’ front court.
Hayes also averaged 1.4 blocks in his last ten games, which shows some pretty solid defensive potential. His defensive potential can be seen just from looking at him; with his height and his 7’3 wingspan, it’s no surprise he can pick up blocks every one and while. Hopefully Hayes will practice to make the most of his ideal intangibles and will become an elite defender.
Hayes has gained a decent amount of publicity through his insane finishing abilities. He’s had many extraordinary dunks this season. Whether it’s catching a lob or just jamming it right over someone’s head, he’s had many very impressive highlights.
My favorite Hayes moment is his fast break poster against the Denver Nuggets. It is from the Throwdowns (Series 2) set with only 1800 minted. This dunk could easily have been the dunk of the year, an incredible poster all over PJ Dozier.
The moment of Hayes’ I would most like to see added to Top Shot would have to be his block against Golden State. It really shows off his athleticism and his defensive potential. He not only recovered from what looked to be a wide open layup, but then he blocked the shot into the stands. Definitely an #NBATopShotThis moment.