Future Watch: Jaxson Hayes Rookie Basketball Cards, Pelicans

Future Watch: Jaxson Hayes Rookie Basketball Cards, PelicansFuture Watch: Jaxson Hayes Rookie Basketball Cards, PelicansJaxson Hayes was born in Norman, Oklahoma on May 23rd, 2000. His father, Jonathan Hayes, played in the NFL and is currently the head coach of the XFL’s St. Louis BattleHawks. Jaxson’s mother, Kristi, played basketball at Drake University from 1991-95 and earned Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year honors as a senior in 1995. She has previously served as an assistant women’s coach at Oklahoma, Iowa and Southern Illinois-Carbondale. While playing at Moeller High School in Cincinnati, Jaxson grew from six feet as a freshman to 6’11” as a senior. In his final season at Moeller, he averaged 12 points, seven rebounds and four blocks per game. He would commit to play college ball for the University of Texas.

As a freshman with the Longhorns, Jaxson Hayes played in 32 games with 21 starts. He averaged 10 points, five rebounds and 2.2 blocks while shooting 72.8% from the field. In a loss to TCU, he scored a career high 19 points. In the Big-12 tournament Hayes injured his knee in Texas’ first round loss to Kansas. He would miss the NIT tournament, although that didn’t stop the Longhorns from winning five straight games and the NIT final. Shortly after the conclusion of his freshman season, Hayes was named Big-12 Freshman of the Year and was selected to the Big-12 All-Defensive Team. He would elect to forego his final three years of college eligibility and declared for the 2019 NBA draft.

At the NBA combine, Hayes measured 6’11.5” in shoes with a 7’3.5” wingspan. His 219-pound frame would need more muscle to compete with big men in the NBA, but that’s common with 19-year old frontcourt prospects. Hayes’ athleticism and motor are what stood out in his evaluation process. He showed that he is willing to play the role of the shot blocker on defense and rim runner on offense. At 6’11” he doesn’t need to leap that high for alley-oops and lobs, but don’t let that fool you. He’s a fantastic leaper and finisher at the basket. Most of his offense in college came in a ball screen heavy system that utilized Hayesphysical tools and ability to finish at the rim. He made plenty of easy baskets off of put backs, rim runs and lobs. Defensively he showed all the tools to be a stopper in the paint, but there is still plenty to learn as he needs to get better at defending without fouling and playing team defense.

On draft night (June 20th, 2019), Jaxson Hayes was selected with the 8th overall pick by the Atlanta Hawks. During the draft his rights were traded to New Orleans although the trade could not be made official until July 7th, 2019. It was a big night for the Pelicans. They also selected phenom Zion Williamson with the first overall pick AND acquired point guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker in the same trade that brought Hayes to New Orleans. For Pelicans fans, it was a big night and a positive step forward after the team had agreed to trade Anthony Davis to Los Angeles three days prior.

Check out Hayes at the 2019 NBA Summer League:

So far this season, Hayes has played in 38 games with 11 starts. He’s averaging 8.7 points, 4.7 boards and 1.2 blocks over 20.3 minutes. So far, his best performance came in a 123-111 win over the Knicks on January 10th. He played 29 minutes, scored 18 points on 7-of-8 shots while adding 10 boards, one assist, two blocks and a steal to his final line.

At the beginning of the season, New Orleans felt they had a strong chance to compete for a lower playoff seed in the Western Conference. Zion Williamson’s injury, and key injuries to other starters, have put most expectations on hold and the team is currently second to last in the west with a 15-26 record. Things will most certainly change in New Orleans once Williamson is cleared to play. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Pelicans comes on strong in the second half and makes a run. They’re only four games back of the eighth seeded Memphis Grizzlies.

At the moment, Hayes is seeing most of his minutes off the bench as a backup big. Derrick Favors is currently out, which has given Hayes a bump in minutes and more run with the starters. If New Orleans can get healthy and make a run, Hayes will probably see most of his minutes off the bench behind Favors and Jahlil Okafor. However, the losses could continue to pile up which would presumably give Hayes more minutes to develop alongside Williamson, Alexander-Walker, Brandon Ingram and any other players that New Orleans feels is a part of their core moving forward.

It shouldn’t be that hard to get some of Jaxson Hayes’ rookie cards into your collection. They’re best acquired on the secondary market from sellers looking to move any card they received in a Pelicans break that doesn’t have Zion Williamson’s name on it. Currently you can find his Silver Prizm rookie cards for around $20 which is a pretty good deal. The Pelicans have a bright future with Jaxson Hayes guarding the paint and catching lobs from a young core of talented players. If you’re a Pelicans fan and Zion isn’t in your price range, snatch up a few of Hayes’ rookie cards. A rising tide lifts all boats.

Collectors looking for Jaxson Hayes in his Texas Longhorns uniform will find those cards in Panini’s 2019 collegiate basketball programs including Contenders Draft Picks, Prizm Draft Picks and Flawless Collegiate. As a top-10 pick, you can expect to find Jaxson Hayes in all of Panini’s 2019-20 NBA basketball programs including Hoops, Contenders, Crown Royale and many more to come.

Future Watch: Jaxson Hayes Rookie Basketball Cards, Pelicans – Stats as of 1/15/2020

Per Game Table
Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2019-20 19 NOP NBA C 38 11 20.3 3.3 5.1 .653 0.0 0.1 .250 3.3 5.0 .661 .655 2.0 3.2 .626 1.8 2.9 4.7 0.9 0.6 1.2 0.8 2.9 8.7
Career NBA 38 11 20.3 3.3 5.1 .653 0.0 0.1 .250 3.3 5.0 .661 .655 2.0 3.2 .626 1.8 2.9 4.7 0.9 0.6 1.2 0.8 2.9 8.7
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/15/2020.

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James Gale