Marc Berman of the New York Post reported the team ranks Hayes as the No. 2 point guard in the class behind Ball and he has "a more supreme skill set than the other lottery-projected point guards."
The Knicks hold the No. 8 pick in the first round.
Hayes could still be available at No. 8 thanks to the uncertainty in his profile, although he has a lot of upside after a solid season for Ratiopharm Ulm.
The 6'4" point guard finished last season with an average of 11.6 points and 5.3 assists in the German League, adding 12.8 points and 6.2 assists per game in 10 EuroCup appearances.
He also shot 39.0 percent from three-point range in the EuroCup after shooting 21.8 percent in league play, causing scouts to question which one was legitimate.
The Knicks need immediate contributions at point guard after disappointing seasons from Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina and Elfrid Payton, none of them averaging more than 10 points per game. Smith still has enough upside to give chances in the future, but the squad likely needs to target a new player to be a franchise cornerstone in the backcourt alongside RJ Barrett.
Tyrese Haliburton, Kira Lewis, Cole Anthony, RJ Hampton, Theo Maledon and Tyrese Maxey could also be options for New York in the first round of the draft.