Utah Jazz NBA Draft Prospect: ‘Bones’ Hyland

Jul 2, 2021, 2:53 PM | Updated: 2:55 pm
VCU Guard Nah'Shon Bones Hyland (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)...
VCU Guard Nah'Shon Bones Hyland (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – With the NBA season in the rearview mirror, it’s time for the Utah Jazz to turn their attention to the NBA Draft. One player that could intrigue the Jazz on draft night is sophomore guard Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland out of VCU.

Hyland played two seasons with the Rams where he averaged 19.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in his second season.

After an impressive showing at the NBA Combine, Hyland decided to keep his name in the pool for the July 29 draft and is projected to be selected around where the Jazz are picking.

Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland: Guard – VCU

19.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.1 assists, 44.7/37.1/86.2

Strengths: The first thing that jumps out about Hyland (other than his nickname Bones) is the tremendous range on his three-point shot. The guard regularly pulled up from well beyond the NBA three-point line.

However, unlike other small guards who rely on added depth to their jump shot due to a lack of height, Hyland stands a full 6’3 with an impressive 6’9 wingspan. Hyland’s career 40 percent three-point shooting percentage on 6.0 attempts per game is a strong indicator of future success at the NBA level.

In addition to his shooting, Hyland has an impressive dribble package and first step allowing him to get to the rim with either hand.

On defense, the sophomore’s long wingspan allows him to slow defenders on the ball while also being a threat in the passing lanes averaging 1.9 steals per game. Hyland has good basketball instincts understanding angles on both sides of the floor as a passer and a defender.

With his shooting, speed, and understanding of the game, he could really excel with the extra spacing on the NBA floor a la New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley who has a similar build and strikingly similar numbers.

Weaknesses: As indicated by his nickname Bones, Hyland has a lot of work to put in in the weight room before he’ll be a major contributor in the NBA. The guard weighed in at just 169 lbs at the combine and will have to add strength to compete against bigger NBA guards.

Though he has some clear playmaking skills, Hyland averaged just 2.1 assists per game as a sophomore. At 6’3 and under 200 lbs, the sophomore will have to prove he can play the point guard position in the NBA as he may struggle against bigger, stronger perimeter players in the NBA.

It’s worth noting however that VCU had one of the younger rosters in college basketball and Hyland was asked to do more scoring than he may have with an older roster. The guard did run the point at the combine and recorded four assists playing alongside better teammates.

Though Hyland can get into the paint using his quickness, he’s not an elite athlete finishing most of his plays below the rim. He hasn’t yet proven that he has the same reliable floater that has made Quickley a threat with the Knicks, and will have to develop a shot he can get off in the NBA once he gets into the paint.

Overall: Hyland is an easy kid to root for with his energetic style of play and attitude despite suffering personal tragedy off the floor. In 2018, shortly before starting his college career, Hyland’s family home was destroyed in a house fire that took the life of his grandmother and younger cousin.

The guard was forced to jump from a second-story window to escape the fire and suffered a torn patellar tendon which resulted in a six-month rehab process going into his senior year of high school.

Hyland could give the Jazz added depth at the guard spot as insurance before they are forced to decide on the future of Mike Conley during free agency.

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