The Killian Hayes era for the Detroit Pistons looks like it’s coming to a close. The fourth-year point guard has found himself out of the team’s rotation with rookie Marcus Sasser emerging and veteran Monte Morris firmly entrenched. After starting 144 games in his career, including 30 this year, Hayes has been a healthy DNP for two straight. It appears the team has unofficially moved in a new direction, and it has motivated Hayes’ reps to push for a trade before next week’s trade deadline, according to a report.
The Detroit Free Press recently assessed the trade likelihood of Detroit’s entire roster and had this to say:
Hayes’ camp, per a source, would prefer the fourth-year point guard land with a new team. The Pistons seem to agree. Hayes, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2020 draft and Weaver’s first pick to lead the rebuild, has been a healthy scratch the past two games with the backcourt at full strength.
Even if both the Pistons and Hayes are motivated to move the guard to a new team doesn’t mean it is likely to happen by the trade deadline. Hayes offense has simply never come around to be NBA level, and so I’m not sure how many franchises are willing to take a flier on him for the second half of the season.
Despite his quality defense and really excellent facilitation skills, he is still a guard with a 47.1% true shooting percentage and averaging a career-low 6.7 field goal attempts per game.
The most likely scenario would be shipping out Hayes as more of an expiring contract — his $7.4 million salary comes off the books after this season unless a team offers him qualifying offer that stands at more than $9 million.
Pistons have routinely been eyed as a franchise that could be willing to take on some bad multi-year salary in exchange for expirings if it gave them a dcent rotation players in return — preferably a wing.
Hayes is also not the team’s only expiring salary. Detroit can combine a Hayes deal with other unwanted expirings — think James Wiseman at $12 million and Joe Harris at $19 million, or packaged with quality expiring vets in Bojan Bogdanovic $20 million with only $2 million guaranteed next season, or Alec Burks and Monte Morris, who both come in at around $10 million apiece.
If there is a big fish out there, or the team can manage to find themselves as the third team in a multi-team deal, Detroit can certainly mix and match expiring deals in order to net a player, picks, or both.
However, it seems like the most likely Piston out the door by next week’s deadline is Troy Weaver’s first draft pick in Hayes. Here’s hoping it works out for him.