Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes to declare for the draft

(AP Photo/Andy Manis)

Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes will declare for the NBA Draft without signing with an agent. He will be eligible to return to school for his senior season should he remove his name from consideration by May 25th.

Hayes, a 6-foot-8 forward, averaged 15.7 points, 5.9 boards and 3.0 assists for the Badgers as a junior, seeing his production increase dramatically in a year where he was asked to fill the void left by Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker.

Hayes’ decision was first reported by The Vertical.

The knock on Hayes, however, was that the increased production came at the expense of his efficiency. He shot just 36 percent from the floor and 29 percent from three this season. In other Hayes, there is some reason to think that Hayes as potential as a pro, but he also has some things that he needs to work on to get there.

Which is why the new rule allowing players to declare and withdraw from the draft is perfect for him. He can get the feedback he needs and the information on the things that he has to improve and, if he doesn’t like where he’s likely to end up after this season, he can return to school, spend the summer trying to improve his flaws and try and play his way into next year’s draft.