Wisconsin junior Nigel Hayes declares for the NBA draft but will not hire an agent

Despite struggling through his junior seasons, Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes will take advantage of the new N.C.A.A. rules and declare for the N.B.A. draft without hiring an agent.

University of Wisconsin junior forward Nigel Hayes has decided to enter the 2016 N.B.A. draft but will not hire an agent, sources tell BadgerNation.com.

The move was first reported by Adrain Wojnarowski.

The process for draft eligible players was altered this past January, extending the deadline for underclassmen decision to return to school or forfeiting their remaining eligibility from mid-April to May 25.

Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard said earlier this month he planned to submit Hayes’ name to the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee.

Players are also allowed to have one workout per NBA team (at their own expense), per year, in addition to participating in the league’s draft combine in Chicago May 11-15. Additionally, players can submit their name to the draft pool a total of three times without jeopardizing their college eligibility.

The sense was the new system will allow N.C.A.A. student athletes more access to the N.B.A. process to get a better gauge of where they fall in the draft to make an educated decision. Players who still declare and hire an agent forfeit their remaining eligibility.

With the N.B.A. inviting between 60-70 players per year, a list voted on by the league’s teams and announced in early May, not every play who declares will get an invitation.

Hayes has said his plan is to come back for his senior season and called the new draft process “testing the waters.”

In this week’s latest mock drafts compiled by DraftExpress and nbadraft.net, Hayes was not listed as player projected to be drafted.

Although leading the team with 15.7 points per game, Hayes shot 11-for-54 (20.1 percent) and 2-for-21 (9.5 percent) from 3-point range in four postseason games. He finished the season shooting 36.8 percent from the floor and 29.3 percent from 3-point range (worst among UW’s starting lineup).

Surrounded by N.B.A. first-round picks Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky as a sophomore, Hayes averaged 12.4 points on 49.7 percent shooting and 39.6 percent from 3-point range.

Hayes has all the tools N.B.A. executives covet (size, length and versatility) but struggled with his shot consistency after tweaking his release and still needs to add weight/strength. Most mock drafts had Hayes no higher than a mid-second round pick. Some didn’t have him selected at all.

If Hayes returns for his senior season, he’ll be one of four projected seniors in the starting lineup. With the return of Big Ten Freshman of the Year Ethan Happ and depth off the bench, Wisconsin will return 99.8 percent of its minutes, 99.7 of its scoring and rebounding and 100 percent of its assists and steals, a reason many project the Badgers could be a preseason top-10 team.

Even if Hayes leaves, Wisconsin is a projected top-20 team and will return 81.8 percent of its minutes, 76.5 of its scoring, 83.1 percent of its rebounding, 74 percent of its assists and 81 percent of its steals.

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