Hawks draft UT’s Hayes eighth overall, send him to New Orleans

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Jaxson Hayes

Texas forward Jaxson Hayes sits on the bench before an NCAA college basketball game against Iowa State, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

BROOKLYN, New York (KXAN) — Jaxson Hayes is now part of one of the most exciting front courts in the NBA.

The Hawks took the former Texas center with the eighth overall pick in Thursday night’s NBA Draft, but because of a pre-draft trade, Hayes will end up in New Orleans alongside Zion Williamson, the first pick of the draft.

“I feel like I’ll pair really well [with Williamson],” Hayes said. “We’re both really athletic guys. Zion’s obviously a freak, but I feel like we’ll match up really well together.”

Its a meteoric rise for Hayes, who couldn’t even start on varsity as a junior at Moeller High School in Cincinnati. Three years later, he’s a top-10 pick in the NBA Draft.

He continues an impressive run for the Longhorns, who have had three straight big men drafted in the first round and four in the last five years. Hayes joins Mo Bamba, Jarrett Allen and Myles Turner.

The Draft is held in the Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets, and Allen’s home arena. After Hayes’ selection, Allen sent his congrats in a tweet that said, “Congrats Jaxson Hayes! Welcome to the league! #Hookem”.

“I met Jarrett a few times,” Hayes said about his relationship with Allen. “He’s given me a lot of advice, same with some of the other old big guys who went to Texas, they’ve just given me a lot of advice.”

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