Knicks Rumors: Killian Hayes Ranked Behind LaMelo Ball as NY's No. 2 PG Prospect

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 20, 2020

James Dolan, executive chairman of  Madison Square Garden, sits at a news conference next to the team logo where he introduced Phil Jackson as the new president of the New York Knicks, Tuesday, March 18, 2014 in New York. Jackson, who won two NBA titles as a player for the New York Knicks, also won 11 championships while coaching the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

If LaMelo Ball goes off the board early in the 2020 NBA draft as expected, the New York Knicks could target French point guard Killian Hayes. 

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.

Though the Knicks have an opportunity to trade up in the draft, Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman projects Ball to go No. 1 overall to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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.

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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.