Detroit Pistons: Killian Hayes putting in the work, but will it pay off?

Killian Hayes #7 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Killian Hayes #7 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Killian Hayes of the Detroit Pistons has been one of the rawest prospects since joining the NBA, showing flashes of shot creation while also being a good defender and playmaker, but also struggling mightily to score.

Flashes of greatness are not enough to build a career off of, so Hayes needs much more consistency and is putting in the work that will hopefully get him there.

Hayes has been the perfect example of the culture Detroit is trying to build, spending much of his offseason getting up shots, lifting weights and working on his footwork, as we can see in this clip from trainer Shawn Faust:

Hayes is one of the hardest working players on the Detroit Pistons, and that work will hopefully show in his game.

Detroit Pistons: Killian Hayes needs to find the confidence he had in the Euro League

In his last season playing in Europe for Ratiopharm Ulm, Hayes averaged 12.8 points per game on solid shooting splits of 45.5 percent from the field, 39 percent from three and 90.9 percent from the free throw line, while remaining the tough defender and playmaker that he has been in the NBA.

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This efficiency is something that has not yet translated to his NBA career where he is shooting 37.4 percent from the field, 26.8 percent from three, and 78 percent from the line while taking fewer shots.

Hayes was much more confident and aggressive, qualities that we’ve only seen in flashes in the NBA.

He has some crafty moves and has taken his fair share of ankles on step back moves already in his first two seasons, but also many games where he has passed up shots or been unable to knock them down.

Killian Hayes has shown he can make plays for his teammates but the next step is making shots, especially open 3-pointers.

If or when Hayes becomes respectable from three, he will be able to create driving lanes leading to open looks at the rim or a commitment from the help defense, leading to an open shooter in the corner. Saddiq Bey, Jerami Grant and the other shooters on the Detroit Pistons would benefit from these open looks, which might help the team’s abysmal 3-point percentage.

Hayes also needs to improve his ability to chase rebounds, as he only averages three per game for his career at six-foot five. Grabbing a few more rebounds per game would lead to more run outs and chances for him to use his passing to create points.

As he improves his rebounding and his scoring ability the assist numbers will rise as the defenses will close in on him more often. The improvement of the roster around him will also improve those numbers.

But it all starts with the work this summer, as Killian Hayes has to show some offensive improvement or could risk his spot in the rotation depending on who the Detroit Pistons add this offseason.

It’s a “show me” year for Hayes, who is putting in the work to make it happen.

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