Detroit Pistons: What Killian Hayes’ injury means for the season

Detroit Pistons guard Killian Hayes Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons guard Killian Hayes Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

Detroit Pistons starting point guard Killian Hayes has officially been diagnosed with a labral tear in his hip. The injury is likely to cost him the rest of the season, so where does that leave the Pistons this year?

A big part of this season for the Detroit Pistons was supposed to be watching young Killian Hayes develop into the team’s point guard of the future. And a lot of how the Pistons approached this season seemed to be set up to facilitate that.

In case you have not heard:

As such, this season is officially entering ‘season from hell’ territory. That’s impressive, given that the Pistons have already had three of those recently.

It should also be noted that (as of this writing) he has not been officially ruled out all season, but most assumptions are that he will be.

Regardless, this is a devastating blow to the Pistons season, with one of their main objectives of “developing Killian Hayes” effectively dead. Some changes need to be made:

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1. Trade Derrick Rose ASAP

The whole idea of Rose (or any other vet) mentoring young guys is always overated, especially since Rose and Hayes are completely different profiles as players. But, there was some value to having the former MVP around Hayes. Rose is, at the very least, a guy who Hayes probably respects and who would push him in practices, and also less likely to make Hayes feel bad about getting pulled for.

Delon Wright has been fine for the Pistons, but for a guy like Hayes, it probably would’ve stung worse if coach Dwane Casey was pulling him for the journeyman career backup.

No matter how valuable Rose’s presence was to Hayes, that ship has now sailed. Rose does bring a certain competence to the offense when he’s on the floor, but the Pistons have already demonstrated that Rose is not impactful enough to make them actually win games.

As such, unless Rose really does love Detroit so much that he wants to become the old culture guy who stays on the roster into his 40s, trading him for whatever is possible is a much higher priority. No need to wait till the deadline. Each game that passes, is another chance for Rose to get hurt.

Also on that note, make sure Rose’s minutes stay in control. He helps no one if he gets hurt.

2. Re-center the offense to get Blake Griffin rolling

This may possibly be a lost cause. Blake has looked like a shell since the season started. But the main reason to keep him firmly in a secondary offensive role (Blake was basically tied for third on the team in field goals attempted and fourth in usage) was to make sure Hayes got his run still. With Hayes out, giving Blake a shot to re-find his form is a priority.

Putting the ball in Blake’s hands more isn’t hurting the other young guys, in fact, if Saddiq Bey’s hot start from deep is real, it could be a boon for him playing a 2-man game with Griffin, and it isn’t like Jerami Grant needs to take even more shots.

This isn’t a long-term thing. Maybe Griffin really is shot. But, with Hayes hurt and a Rose trade (hopefully) on the horizon, trying to rehab any sort of value into Blake Griffin would be great. If he does find even 80% of his past self, he should make life easier for the Pistons budding future players on the wing.

3. Give Jerami Grant the greenest of lights.

Jerami Grant has been awesome to start the season, but he’s been exclusively a scorer and rarely a creator for others. Like with Griffin, there is now no reason for him not to hog the ball more. Grant already leads the team by a mile in attempted shots, but allowing him to dip his toes into some playmaking would be good.

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It might turn out poorly, but its worth at least exploring.