By Mark Strotman | | 3 mins
Bet Jaxson Hayes to Go in the Top 12 of the 2019 NBA Draft
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Last year’s NBA Draft was “bigger” than any in recent memory, with five of the first seven picks being power forwards or centers.
That trend will balance out in 2019, with unanimous first pick Zion Williamson the only projected power forward/center to go in the Top 7.
Point guards Darius Garland and Coby White, and wings R.J. Barrett, Jarrett Culver, De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish all should have their names called before another “big” comes off the board.
But Texas center Jaxson Hayes won’t need to wait much longer than that to have his name called, and because of that he’s our favorite draft night prop bet.
FanDuel currently has his odds at -142 to be chosen between picks 1-11. Here’s why we love that.
Hayes a perfect fit with two-pick Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks have a foundation in place with point guard Trae Young and power forward John Collins. Hayes would be a perfect complement to both.
He’s an elite pick-and-roll center, something Young thrives on in halfcourt sets, and his block rate was one of the best in the country, meaning he’d work well beside Collins on the defensive end.
Plus, the Hawks pick at both 8 and 10. It’s tough to see them passing up Hayes twice in a three-pick span.
Hayes has been Linked to Bulls at 7
Hayes may not even get to the Hawks at No. 8. The Bulls were one of the teams who took a big man in 2018 – Wendell Carter Jr. – but apparently are intrigued with how Hayes would fit in their offense.
Following up on yesterday’s Jaxson Hayes Tweet, the Texas big man has intrigued some within the Bulls, per sources.— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) June 14, 2019
Also, Coby White visit is possibility next week. The draft combine chatter that the Suns promised him at No. 6 has quieted since then.
That could very well be a smokescreen to get the Hawks to move up – the Bulls pick seventh – but it would still make Hayes a top-11 pick.
The Bulls also won 22 games a year ago and should be drafting best player available, regardless of who else is on their roster. In a weak draft class, that player could be Hayes.
Wolves Could be in Play for Hayes at No. 11
If the Hawks fall in love with two other prospects, and the Bulls prove to have been bluffing, the Timberwolves could give Hayes a long look at No. 11.
Karl-Anthony Towns has only played 52 of his 11,120 career minutes at power forward but his athleticism and versatility would allow him to slide over, with Hayes providing him some cover on the defensive end. They’d make an excellent inside-out pairing on offense, too.
Given that he’s the best true center in the draft, there’s a spot for Hayes somewhere before 12. Bet him at -142 on FanDuel.