Minnesota Timberwolves NBA Draft 2020 Prospect Profile: Killian Hayes

Killian Hayes of Ratiopharm Ulm. (Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Killian Hayes of Ratiopharm Ulm. (Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Killian Hayes
Killian Hayes of Ratiopharm Ulm. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /

Killian Hayes NBA Draft 2020 Prospect Profile: Fit with Timberwolves

Given that Hayes’ best NBA comparison at this point is D’Angelo Russell, you would be forgiven to assume that such redundancy would preclude the Frenchman from landing in the Twin Cities.

After all, that’s the primary reason

But playing two big guards and playmakers next to each other in the backcourt isn’t exactly the same as adding another 7-footer next to Karl-Anthony Towns  — much less one that can’t stretch the floor, such as James Wiseman).

Hayes and Russell are both in the neighborhood of 6-foot-4 to 6-foot-5, and they each have an adequate wingspan. They can both shoot and both have outstanding court vision and passing ability.

Defense is the main question mark, but if the Wolves believe that Hayes can be an average on-ball defender and Russell can be coaxed into improving even slightly, adding Hayes and a pair of athletic, switchable wings on the perimeter next to Towns should play well enough to give the Minnesota Timberwolves a competitive defense.

Remember, defensive coordinator David Vanterpool managed to build an above-average defensive unit in Portland with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum in the backcourt — two much smaller guards than Russell and Hayes. Anything is possible, and the Timberwolves might very well think that the pairing could work.

Now, would drafting Hayes at No. 1 overall be the best use of assets? No, assuming the majority of the other 29 teams think that Ball, Edwards, and Wiseman should go 1-2-3, in some order.

If the Wolves could trade back, possibly with Chicago at No. 4, Atlanta at No. 6, or New York at No. 8, there’s a solid chance that Hayes could be their target. If not, it would certainly qualify as an Anthony-Bennett-in-2014-level surprise on draft night.

dark. Next. Wolves Draft Prospect Profile: LaMelo Ball

Hayes is a nice prospect, and with the likelihood that he contributes right away, combined with his All-Star-caliber upside if he can add a consistent jumper and be decent defensively, is enough to get him drafted in the top 10 with a chance of getting into the top five in this year’s draft.