Who runs the Detroit Pistons? The real cost of Killian Hayes

Jan 24, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA;  Detroit Pistons guard Killian Hayes (7)
Jan 24, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Killian Hayes (7) / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
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The Detroit Pistons kept drafting guards

For about as long as I can remember, the Detroit Pistons have needed wings and power forwards, yet they have drafted three guards since taking Killian Hayes in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Cade Cunningham was a consensus number-one pick, so you can't question that one too much, but if Hayes had lived up to the hype or shown anything in his rookie season, who knows if the Pistons take Cade here.

Same with Jaden Ivey, whose selection made little sense if Hayes was any good, but he wasn't, so they kept adding guards in a league dominated by wings, forwards and skilled big men.

The Pistons traded up to get Marcus Sasser and traded for Monte Morris when they already had three guards on the roster, moves they wouldn't have had to make if Hayes were living up to his promise as a top-10 pick. He didn't have to be a star, but the Pistons had no faith he could even be the backup, so they added Sasser and Hayes.

If Hayes wasn't a bust, maybe the Pistons take Bennedict Mathurin instead of Jaden Ivey. You can argue about which player is better, but Mathurin is the more obvious fit with Cade Cunningham.

If Hayes were any good, would the Pistons have traded up to get yet another guard when there were still good forwards on the board?

Even if they thought Sasser was worth trading up for, Williams' insistence on playing Hayes so far this season has cost the rookie reps and development time even though he's been better than Hayes in every measurable way.

It's easy to blame the coach for this one, as he not only lobbied for Hayes but kept running him out there game after game, which is hopefully mercifully over after Hayes finally caught a DNP-CD against Cleveland.

The Killian Hayes era appears to be over in Detroit, and it was nothing short of a disaster, as he was not only bad, but the Pistons refused to admit he was a sunk cost and kept him (and kept playing him) to the detriment of both the roster and the development of other guards.