Jaxson Hayes: Intelligence
Our scouting grades represent the composite opinion of at least three different scouts. Each category is graded based on how we view a player’s current ability level relative to NBA players at the same position (guard, wing, forward or big). A grade of 1 indicates replacement level, a grade of 5 indicates NBA average, and a grade of 10 indicates historically elite. Our composite scouting notes help provide context for our grades.
Hayes has shown a good understanding as a roll man, using his gravity to create space. Being a smart roll man who can play above the rim gives him immediate equity on the offensive end. He is less adept with the ball in his hands, though, often missing weak-side shooters as he moves downhill. He will never serve as the fulcrum of a high-level offense, but his current level of awareness will improve and he will continue to develop his offensive game over time.
While his offensive game is under construction, Hayes comes out of the gate as a good defender. He is active when defending on the ball and tends to move well anticipating penetration when he is forced to slide his feet. One area he needs to improve on is communication, as he will often get lost on a-to-c rotations and end up leaving an open jump shooter or opening a seam for a driver.
Hayes typically makes the right decisions on offense and has a very high field goal percentage as a result. He does take some tough shots out of the post when kicking the ball out and resetting might be the better decision, though he has a knack for using his length to bail himself out. On defense he picks up dumb fouls while jumping at shots or getting caught out of position. Hayes has had success defending this way in the past and will need to adjust his expectations as the players around him get faster.
On offense Hayes doesn't get put in many spots to make decisions, but he tends to be decisive in limited opportunities as a roll man. Defensively his decisiveness can be a bit of a burden, causing him to overreact when challenging shots. He is very confident in his ability to make an impact, an encouraging sign for such a young player.
Anticipation (A to C)
Hayes is a good offensive rebounder who uses his pre-shot positioning to put him in advantage situations. He is good at anticipating how the ball will bounce and is usually the first player to get to it. He is also good at finding impact situations on the defensive end, blocking shots and jumping passing lanes for deflections on a regular basis.