Detroit Pistons release former 7th overall pick Killian Hayes among roster cuts


By not finding buyers in the commercial market, the Detroit Pistons released Killian Hayes, the former seventh overall pick and first overall draft pick during Troy Weaver’s tenure as Pistons general manager.

Hayes’ release marks the end of one of the most consequential and, frankly, disastrous moves of Weaver’s tenure, which has not been without decisions that were not widely announced, to put it mildly.

It’s a sad end to Hayes’ tenure in Detroit, and it’s unclear if he’ll be able to catch up with another NBA team for the remainder of the NBA season. There were discussions about moving him to the Memphis Grizzlies, who are shorthanded after a series of injuries.

It’s also a sad ending for Detroit, which invested a lot of time and resources into trying to turn Hayes into a successful NBA player. What makes it worse is that while each side fought so hard for the same thing, at the same time they were painfully close to figuring it all out and light years away from making it work.

Hayes is a quality defender and an excellent facilitator as a point guard, especially considering that defenders have no reason not to play against him, since at the same time he couldn’t threaten you from deep and couldn’t finish at the rim. In light of those obvious limitations, it’s surprising that he averaged more than seven assists and less than two turnovers per 36 minutes.

But the fundamental truth was that Hayes was not only unthreatening as an offensive player, he was one of the worst and most damaging scorers in the NBA. Hayes ends his tenure as one of 16 players since 1979 to log more than 5,000 minutes and have a true shooting percentage below 46%. He is the first player to join the rosters since Dominic McGuire and DeSagana Diop, who saw his careers end in 2013.

Had Hayes managed to be a below-average scorer instead of being among the league’s worst at doing so for big minutes, he would be looking at a likely extension from the Pistons and a path to a career that could last at least 10 years. . Now, he will be an NBA free agent fighting for a roster spot or maybe some 10-day contracts for some teams that need PG.

To make matters worse, Tyrese Haliburton, selected in the same draft with the 12th pick, is now about to start in his first All-Star Game.

Hayes isn’t the only Pistons player who will be released after a series of moves. Veteran Joe Harris was released after the Pistons couldn’t find a use for his expiring contract on the trade market. The Pistons will also release some nearly acquired players in an effort to reduce the roster to 15 players.

Detroit is expected to release newly acquired Ryan Arcidiacono from the Knicks and Casa Daniel of the Sixers.

The Pistons will be especially shorthanded when they face the Portland Trail Blazers tonight. They will be without now former players Hayes, Harris, Bojan Bogdanovic, Alec Burks, Monte Morris and Kevin Knox. None of their newcomers will be available.

That will leave Detroit with eight players: rookies Marcus Sasser and Ausar Thompson, and Jalen Duren, Jaden Ivey, James Wiseman, Cade Cunningham, Mike Muscala and Danilo Gallinari. The Pistons do not have their two-way players available on the west coast trip. It’s unclear if Cade Cunningham will play after missing yesterday’s game against the Kings, and there’s no official word on whether Thompson, who sprained his ankle but played against the Kings, will also be able to suit up. Isaiah Stewart remains out with an ankle injury.



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