The Detroit Pistons have selected Killian Hayes with the No. 7 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Hayes was born in the United States, but was developed in France. His father, DeRon Hayes, is American and played abroad, and his son ultimately chose to do the same during his formative years. He spent two years with Cholet before joining the German team Ulm last season. His father, a three-year starter at Penn State, never reached the NBA. Now, the younger Hayes has.
And if his skill set is any indication, he'll be there for quite some time. Though overshadowed by LaMelo Ball, Hayes is one of the best passers in this draft class and should be able to run an effective pick-and-roll early in his career. At 6-5 with a wingspan approaching 6-9, he should be an effective defender for his position, and while his 3-point shooting numbers are all over the map, his stellar free-throw shooting suggests that his mechanics should serve him well in the NBA.
His shot will need to fall if he doesn't improve with his right hand. Hayes relies on his left hand almost exclusively, and without elite athleticism, defenses will be able to limit his driving ability through aggressive shading. As one of the youngest players in the draft, Hayes has plenty of room to grow, though, and exposure to superior competition and developmental infrastructure in the United States should serve him well.
In Detroit, Hayes will have a chance to run the offense from the start, and the Pistons now have potential core players at virtually every position. Svi Mykhailiuk and Luke Kennard will space the floor as shooters. Sekou Doumbayo showed great promise at forward last season. Christian Wood is a free agent, but if he can be retained, he should be a great long-term pick-and-roll partner for Hayes. The Pistons may not have a surefire superstar, but they have a well-rounded young roster in which Hayes can grow.
Draft Grade: C+
Much like with Okongwu, I think Hayes is a good player but had others as better fits and prospects. Hayes is a trustworthy, creative, run-your-team type of guard, but he needs to develop a jump shot. If you believe he can develop that jumper, this pick makes a lot of sense.