It’s past time that Killian Hayes was moved to the Pistons’ bench

Detroit Pistons guard Killian Hayes Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons guard Killian Hayes Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /

Killian Hayes has been hampered by some bad injury luck and poor shooting in his brief career for the Detroit Pistons and I feel for him, but it’s time to make a change.

I’ve tried to stay on the fence with Killian Hayes, as I don’t think the Pistons have much choice but to be patient with the young guard, but it’s become painfully clear that the Pistons’ starting unit is better without him in it.

Hayes has flashed impressive defense at times, and I do think he was missed last night against Sacramento, as the Kings’ quick guards were getting into the lane at will, but in the end, you have to be able to score to stay in an NBA starting lineup and Hayes doesn’t.

Killian Hayes’ development for the Detroit Pistons

I get the argument that the Pistons are not worried about winning this season, as they are a young team still trying to amass assets to improve, so why not just keep throwing Hayes out there?

Related Story. Imagining a future for the Detroit Pistons with Jerami Grant. light

That does make some sense, but they can’t set back everyone else’s development (particularly Cade Cunningham‘s) for the sake of Hayes when there is still little evidence that he is figuring it out on the offensive end or is a good fit off the ball.

Hayes’ shooting numbers are still abysmal and sticking him in the corner to shoot 3’s is not helping him, nor Cunningham, who needs a threat off the ball to create space.

Defenses can just collapse on Cade’s dribble penetration and Hayes’ defender is almost always the one to do it, as teams would love nothing more than for Detroit possessions to end in a Hayes’ 3-point attempt.

He still isn’t aggressive or efficient enough as a finisher either, so he really brings very little to the table on offense when he is playing off the ball, which he is going to be if Cade is out there.

This seems like common sense, but moving him to the bench and staggering his minutes so that he is not on the floor with Cade Cunningham is clearly the move to make, and might be better for his long-term development anyway.

If the Pistons drop from the top-3 in the 2022 NBA Draft, there is a good chance they are going to take a guard who is a better complement to Cunningham, so why not get Hayes used to being a primary ball handler in the second unit?

Hayes has had a rough start to his career for myriad reasons, but continuing to put him in the starting lineup isn’t helping anyone, including him.

Next. Ranking the top-10 NBA rookies and sophomores. dark