Detroit Pistons: Should Killian Hayes return from the bench?

Killian Hayes #7 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Killian Hayes #7 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

What should the Detroit Pistons do with Killian Hayes when he returns from injury?

The Detroit Pistons got horrible news about Killian Hayes, after his “right hip strain” was discovered to be much worse.

It’s now been diagnosed as a “tear” according to Shams Charania:

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This went from somewhat hopeful to disaster in about 12 hours and it is unclear why the Detroit Pistons released an incorrect diagnosis to begin with, as it just draws further criticism that this medical staff has not handled things well over the last few years.

Judging by other players who have had this injury, Hayes is not only going to be out for a long time but may never be the same again. UGH.

Hayes missing any amount of time to injury is obviously not good but it may give Dwane Casey a chance to readjust the rookie’s role, at least for the short term.

NOTE: This was written before the announcement of Hayes’ injury being worse.

Detroit Pistons: Will Killian Hayes come back off the bench?

Killian Hayes’ shooting woes have been well-documented and everyone needs to relax. Point guard is the most difficult position in the NBA and the list of point guards who didn’t shoot well early in their career is long.

But that doesn’t mean that Hayes wouldn’t benefit from a role with slightly less pressure when he returns. This injury gives Casey a chance to re-integrate Hayes into the rotation off the bench without it seeming like the rookie was “benched.”

Hayes should get as many minutes as possible but he might work better with the second unit where he can control the show without as many ball-dominant players.

It would also give him the chance to defend the other team’s backup, where one of his early strengths (his defense) can be better utilized.

Coming off the bench does not have to be a confidence killer, especially if Hayes is still getting plenty of minutes and playing in crunch time to get those reps.

The Pistons can experiment with all types of three-guard lineups that surround Hayes with shooters who don’t dominate the ball, which will allow him more space to create.

As Saddiq Bey and Svi Mykhailiuk get more of Derrick Rose‘s minutes (Please!) they could be effective with Hayes running the point. There’s more benefit to Hayes playing minutes with these two than with Blake Griffin, who dominates the ball and isn’t part of the long-term plans.

Hayes may even find more confidence off the bench, play well and be moved back to the starting lineup in a few games as a reward.

Hopefully, Hayes will return at full strength and keep up what have been exciting developments in his game, but this injury gives him a chance to do it from the bench, with less pressure, and with players who better fit his skills.

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