Detroit Pistons: A turning point or more false hope for Killian Hayes?

Killian Hayes #7 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
Killian Hayes #7 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

In Cade Cunningham’s absence, Killian Hayes has gotten a bigger role in the Detroit Pistons’ offense.

So far, he’s making the most of it.

In the last three games, the most polarizing player on the Pistons’ roster has averaged 14 points, five assists, and 4.6 rebounds in 30 minutes per game.

In extended minutes, Hayes has been more aggressive in creating offense for himself. The Frenchman has been noticeably more comfortable settling into his jumper, and far more aggressive in getting to the rim.

Hayes’ aggressiveness has aided his playmaking, and he’s recorded seven assists in each of the Detroit Pistons’ last two games.

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The 6-foot-5 guard took 14 shots in Saturday’s game against the Celtics, and 12 in each of the two previous games. Hayes’ new shooting mechanics have drawn mixed results, but against Boston, the guard drilled a handful of pull-ups, and went 3-6 from the three-point line.

Although the sample size is small, Hayes’ recent performances shouldn’t go unnoticed amongst fans clamoring for him to be sent to the G-League.

Detroit Pistons: Killian Hayes getting an opportunity

Cunningham’s injury, coupled with a lack of depth, gives Killian Hayes an opportunity to get extended reps on the floor, and to gain more confidence as he tries to turn his season around.

The Pistons have gotten off to an abysmal start this season, making this arguably the most ideal time to continue to assess how, or if, Hayes can fit with the core Detroit is looking to build around.

Another year of prioritizing player development should be beneficial for the 21-year-old, and give the Pistons another hard look before deciding what to do with him next offseason. The Pistons have already exercised Hayes’ option for next season, and aren’t going anywhere anyway, so now is the ideal time to get the long look they need.

With a roster that’s still likely a few years away from  contending, Detroit can continue to seriously gauge Hayes’ development at the NBA level.

It’s only been three games, and there’s still plenty of room for improvement, but it’s certainly encouraging to see Hayes making the most of his increased playing time.

Could this be the spark that finally turns his career around or is it just more false hope?

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