Killian Hayes could be a darkhorse target for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2020 NBA Draft.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are widely expected to choose between LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards with the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
But might they throw a curveball and take French guard Killian Hayes, or possibly trade backward with Hayes as an intended target?
We’ve already broken down two of the top-three consensus candidates for the No. 1 pick. LaMelo Ball duplicates some of what the Wolves already have in D’Angelo Russell while being an iffy shooter and poor defender, while Anthony Edwards is raw and inefficient and a strikingly similar prospect to former Wolf Andrew Wiggins.
While Hayes has plenty of similarities to Russell — we’ll get into that shortly — he brings much more to the table from a shooting perspective and in terms of defensive upside than Ball.
The third member of the top tier is big man James Wiseman from the University of Memphis, and there is little chance that Minnesota selects him due to the similarities in his profile to Karl-Anthony Towns.
That means that Hayes is probably the only realistic option for the Wolves at No. 1 that isn’t one of the aforementioned trio. Other names surely interest Gersson Rosas and the front office — Obi Toppin is the latest name to see some play nationally — but can be had by trading backward.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that Hayes goes in the top four or five, either, but as we’ll see in this piece, the floor/ceiling combination possessed by Hayes could be more attractive than many of the other prospects likely to go in the top 10.
Let’s take a look at Hayes’ strengths, weaknesses, potential fit with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and whether or not the Wolves should take him No. 1 or potentially target him in a trade-back to a later spot in the draft.