Detroit Pistons fans should expect to see Killian Hayes start this season

Killian Hayes.Killian Hayes Usa Today
Killian Hayes.Killian Hayes Usa Today /

Detroit Pistons fans could very well see their rookie Killian Hayes see starting minutes this season.

The Detroit Pistons used their first selection in the 2020 NBA Draft to pick up a team necessity, Killian Hayes. The 6’5″ point guard was the consensus top option within the fan base, and for once things went their way.

Hayes’ court vision is largely regarded as the best in the entire class, with some experts even ranking him as the number one point guard. It’s no secret that Detroit desperately needed the position filled, and they got their man.

So now the question becomes; where does he see a majority of his minutes?

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Ultimately it comes down to either him or Derrick Rose for the starting position. At first glance, it’s easy to imagine a scenario where Rose gets the nod, given his experience and sheer talent.

However, it’s important for people to remember what his role was with the Pistons last season. When the year began, Dwane Casey made it perfectly clear that Rose was going to be on a strict minutes restriction and would ultimately come off of the bench.

So for a majority of the season, that’s exactly what he did. It wasn’t to slight his talent, it was to preserve his body. The Pistons wanted to maximize his durability as best as they could.

It wasn’t until Detroit’s roster was completely decimated by injury and the trade deadline/buyout season had neared that they finally allowed him to play without a leash. Rose started in 14 of the final 15 games he played last season.

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He was just as efficient as just as productive as he was in a sixth man role. Nothing changed.

Rose’s role with the Pistons was so complimentary to his style of play that eh specifically asked to not be dealt at the trade deadline, despite warranting semi-significant interest from contending teams.

Because of this, we can look at Detroit’s current roster through the same lens. It’s important to keep Rose around in order to mentor Hayes and help transition him into the NBA.

Bringing Rose off the bench again also ensures that our second unit will be able to provide a sizeable scoring punch, just as they did with Luke Kennard for the last two seasons.

It’s entirely within the realm of possibility that for the first few weeks of the season we see more of Rose than we do of Hayes as he slowly adjusts to the style of play at the next level. However, fans should expect to see him gradually take on a bigger role.

Top-ten draft picks are thrown to the fire a lot sooner than most, and Hayes will get his chance faster than some may expect.

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