If you didn’t know who Jaxson Hayes was before tonight, you’ll now know after these highlights.
While the NBA Summer League isn’t usually known for producing eye-popping highlights, it did this time around. Hayes was the No. 8 overall draft pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and was traded by the Atlanta Hawks to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for the No. 4 overall pick De’Andre Hunter.
Although all eyes have been on the Pelicans’ No. 1 draft choice Zion Williamson, it was Hayes who stole the spotlight on Monday night with Williamson out for the remainder of summer league due to a knee injury. Hayes produced not one — but two ridiculous highlights on both ends of the floor.
First of all, let me introduce you to Hayes’ ridiculously high vertical leap as he showed on this dunk over a Chicago Bulls defender.
And he didn’t stop there — he also showed off his skills with an authoritative block on the defensive end on NBA guard Walter Lemon Jr.
The fact that Hayes is vastly outplaying the guy that he was traded for — Hunter — makes the topic even more worth discussing. The 19-year-old Hayes scored 28 points on 10-of-15 from the field with three blocks and four rebounds. Meanwhile, the Hawks’ Hunter vastly struggled on 2-of-8 shooting from the field, scoring just six points in 21 minutes as Atlanta lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a blowout, 90-66, on Sunday.
Considering this is Hayes’ debut with the Pelicans– the trade was not completed until Sunday — it has to get New Orleans fans at least a little bit excited when considering the possibilities between their two teenage draft picks.
Meanwhile, it may be just one summer league game in, but Hawks fans have to feel a little sour about the athletic forward they could have had to pair alongside Trae Young.