The Detroit Pistons want to make a big leap next season, but whether that will happen is still up for debate.
They have several lingering questions about the roster, one of the biggest of which is what they will do with Killian Hayes.
After adding Monte Morris and Marcus Sasser, the Detroit Pistons have a glut of guards, which could leave Hayes out of the rotation, but it’s not so cut and dry.
The Hayes conundrum is going to linger until he is traded or re-signed, but even those options are fraught with challenges.
Will Killian Hayes be in the Detroit Pistons’ rotation?
We know Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey are locks for the rotation, and it’s assumed that Monte Morris will be the primary backup along with Alec Burks. That doesn’t leave many minutes (if any) for Killian Hayes and that’s before you factor in competition from Marcus Sasser.
It’s hard to envision a scenario where Hayes is in the rotation unless there are injuries, so he could be a $7.4 million sunk cost next season.
The Pistons can’t re-sign Killian Hayes, can’t trade him
According to James Edwards III of The Athletic (SUBSCRIPTION), the Detroit Pistons have no plans to offer Hayes an extension.
There are some important dates looming for the Pistons as it pertains to Hayes, but it doesn’t appear an extension is coming.
Trading Hayes is the obvious solution, but for what? It’s hard to imagine a team giving up anything of value for Hayes, who was the worst shooter in the NBA last season. He’s shown flashes, but given the scenario and lack of leverage, teams would be foolish not to just wait for the Pistons to cut him. If Hayes were to net a second-round pick I’d be shocked at this point.
So the Pistons are in a tough spot here, as they can’t extend Hayes and trading him would be pointless. But it’s hard to build value or improve when you aren’t in the rotation, so Hayes is going to be living in basketball purgatory until his contract is up after this season or the Detroit Pistons can find a team willing to give up something of value to take a chance.