Nigel Hayes NBA Draft Profile

MADISON, WI - MARCH 5: Wisconsin Badgers forward Nigel Hayes (10) points in celebration after a made basket during an college basketball game between the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Wisconsin Badgers at the Kohl Center in Madison, WI on March 5th, 2017. Wisconsin defeats Minnesota 66-49 on Senior night. (Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Welcome back to LWOS NBA Draft Coverage, the column that brings you player profiles for the next crop of professional basketball players that are likely to be selected in the upcoming draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow us on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical profiles and scouting reports. Check out our complete coverage of the 2017 NBA Draft. Last Word On Sports is your new headquarters for all things 2017 NBA Draft!

This Nigel Hayes NBA Draft profile dives into the strengths and weaknesses of Wisconsin’s senior forward.

Nigel Hayes – 6′ 8″ Power Forward, University of Wisconsin, 22 Years Old

Hailing from Toledo, Ohio, Nigel Hayes is very experienced at performing under the big lights. A key contributor for the Wisconsin Badgers team that went to the National Championship game in 2015, Hayes’ teams reached at least the Sweet 16 each year he was in Madison. Hayes entered the draft following his junior season, but he struggled at the 2016 NBA Draft Combine, subsequently dropping out and returning for his senior collegiate season.

This season, Hayes led the Badgers in minutes played. He was second in points, rebounds, and assists. Hayes was also second in win shares, as well as player efficiency rating (PER).


Hayes is no stranger to big games. As a physical prospect, Hayes is 6’8″, with a 7’3″ wingspan. He also weighs in around 245 lbs. Though undersized, Hayes is the raw material that makes NBA scouts interested. On defense, Hayes’ length and strength are assets when playing inside. On the perimeter, Hayes has shown the intelligence and know-how to position himself to guard effectively.

Hayes also has a fearless attitude. He showed this clearly with his outspoken stance against perceived unfairness:


Though Hayes averaged 14 points per game, he shot an underwhelming 45 percent from the field and 31 percent from beyond the arc. Also noteworthy is that Hayes’ lack of explosiveness manifests itself in his paltry rebounding numbers (6.6 per game). Consistency is an issue as well. Hayes has shown moments of brilliance followed by disappointingly ordinary performances.

NBA Potential

In terms of immediate impact, Hayes appears to be headed to the G-League. Hayes was a participant in the NBA Draft Combine in 2016, and he was invited to the recently concluded 2017 NBA Draft Combine. He’s currently ranked 64th by Draft Express among the top 100 prospects. Hayes’ ceiling may not be very high, as he might be nothing more than a ‘back of the rotation’ player.

NBA Player Comparison

Hayes might remind NBA fans of a homeless man’s version of Charles Barkley or Larry Johnson. It may prove to be a pleasant surprise if Nigel Hayes hears his name called on draft night.


Main Photo: