Detroit Pistons: How do rookies’ stats compare to NBA stars?

Saben Lee #38 of the Detroit Pistons Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE.
Saben Lee #38 of the Detroit Pistons Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE. /
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Detroit Pistons, Killian Hayes
Killian Hayes #7 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons had the unique opportunity to add four rookies at the start of the 2020-21 NBA season, and all of them have shown promise. One is a Rookie of the Year candidate, one has already been compared to Motor City legend Ben Wallace, one fits well in the starting rotation, and another had a lot of promise but was sidelined due to injury.

Rookie performances are not always an indicator of long-term NBA success. Careers are altered due to unforeseen injuries, and sometimes players just don’t improve and remain stagnant, like certain young men named Micheal Carter-Williams and Andrew Wiggins.

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Conversely, some players like Kawhi Leonard take a few years to properly develop and come into their own.

Stats aren’t everything either. The eye test is very real, and the feeling these young players give fans cannot be shown in a box score. But stats are objective facts and with less than a shortened season on these young players’ resumes, it is a good place to start.

Here are how the Detroit Pistons’ rookies compare statistically to established NBA stars.

Detroit Pistons: Killian Hayes and Rajon Rondo

Hayes has made limited appearances in his short NBA career, but his rookie numbers are okay, especially given his injury troubles. He grabs two boards and dishes out 3.5 assists to go with five points in only twenty minutes per game. His shooting is not super efficient but it isn’t bad either, and on defense, he isn’t a star yet but he has a chance to be an elite defender.

His rookie counterpart is slightly better in every category aside from three-point percentage, but he also played 23 minutes per game, slightly more than Hayes. If Killian Hayes ends up like Rajon Rondo and has a similar career trajectory, that would be a very positive and ideal situation for Detroit fans.

Of course, Rondo plays with a defensive tenacity we haven’t seen from Hayes yet, but with less than 15 games under his belt, he has a lot of room to grow. Hopefully, he ends up as successful as Rondo, one of the greatest passers in modern history.