2020 NBA Draft: The Pistons take Killian Hayes over Tyrese Haliburton
The Detroit Pistons entered the 2020 draft in the first year of their rebuild and needed a point guard. They had reportedly narrowed it down to two guys: Killian Hayes and Tyrese Haliburton. Both players were big guards, but Haliburton was certainly the more polished prospect, while the Pistons viewed Hayes as the guy with more upside.
Hayes has somewhat rebounded from a horrible start to his career this season and is starting to look like the guy that they though they were drafting. But Haliburton has already been an All-Star, has his team in the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference and is doing stuff like this on a nightly basis:
Haliburton is not just better than Hayes by a mile, but he’s also been better than the guy the Pistons are currently building their team around, Cade Cunningham. Haliburton is deadly efficient, leading the entire NBA in assists and his team is in the hunt for the playoffs.
The Pacers never tanked, which shows that building a team is more about making the right choices than it is about lottery balls, something the Pistons are learning the hard way right now, as it could be them with the young star leading a team whose present and future look very exciting.
The Pistons may have finally gotten their guy in Cade Cunningham, but it took a ton of losing to get to that point and you can easily argue that they would have been better off building their ream around any of the three players named above.
Draft misses happen, but there were circumstances that made these misses even worse, as they were so close to drafting all three of these guys but just made the wrong choice.