Though the 2017 NBA Draft was held nearly two months ago, there are still a plethora of players with NBA-level potential that didn’t hear their names be called on the night of June 22nd. There are often gems found in these undrafted rookies and the New York Knicks may have just found themselves one with their most recent addition.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Knicks have signed Wisconsin product Nigel Hayes to a partially guaranteed deal:
Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes has agreed to a partially guaranteed deal with the Knicks, league source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 18, 2017
Nigel Hayes played all four years at Wisconsin, highlighted by a junior year in which he averaged 15.7 points per game to go along with 5.8 rebounds. Hayes decided to return for his senior year in which he obviously got a year older and his per game average dipped slightly to 14 points which could’ve played a factor in him going undrafted.
For the Knicks, they hope Hayes could pan out into a deployable role player at least or maybe even better as they continue to push their youth movement forward. At already 22 years of age as a rookie, Hayes will be at a slight disadvantage developmentally but his abundant raw talent should make the transition smoother.