Jaxson Hayes: Off-Ball Offense
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.
Movement & positioning
His movement is limited to main areas: the pick-and-roll game and offensive rebounding. He is a smart roll man who will kick out into space to create a lane for a driver. He also has a nice ability to linger for just a second after the screen so his man will force a hard double and give him an uncontested run at the rim. He also knows his offensive rebounding capabilities well and will position himself much deeper than most bigs, making him a difficult target to box out.
While his roll game is good, Hayes’ screening needs improvement to excel in his projected role at the next level. He has a great eye for angles and usually tries to blindside opposing guards, but he doesn't usually make enough contact to allow his ball handler to get an advantage. He sets a good, wide base but tends to slip more often than not (Mo Bamba had similar issues, so Texas could be scheming to utilize their bigs out of slip screens). Adding strength will give him more impact and more durability as a screener. He is also good at exploding out of screens and creating split-second windows for passes. He has strong hands and can handle even errant passes while on the move.
Shooting off the catch
Hayes actually has a few attempts in this area, as a mid-range jump shooter in pick and rolls, though he has largely failed to capitalize on becoming a threat which needs to be addressed. His motion tends to be hurried and he is much more likely to attack off the dribble, if he isn't defended around the foul line.
Shooting off movement
Hayes hasn't had any attempts as a movement shooter this season. We do not project him to either focus on or develop an appreciable skill set in this area for the duration of his first contract.
Finishing off movement
One of Hayes's best offensive skills is his vertical gravity. He usually attacks the rim downhill and has a knack for getting above the rim quickly. He also has an enormous catch radius and strong hands, as well as impeccable fluidity and body control (for a big man) which allows him to go up and finish a lot of different passes. Hayes has been one of the NCAA's most efficient threats finishing off movement and will have to rely heavily on this area early in his NBA career to stay on the floor.