Welcome BF viewers and sports fans abroad. Today we’ll be covering a promising young rookie as I’ll be doing for other of my top rookie selections going into the beginning of the season. So with nothing further to do, let’s jump into one of the most interesting prospects from this year’s draft.
Killian Hayes might not be known to some NBA fans. His journey to the league was much different than many in his draft class. He was born in the states, yet he’s an international prospect by way of France.
Hayes grew up in France where his father played professionally. In 2017, he leaped onto scouts’ draft boards after winning MVP honors in the FIBA U16 European Championship. At the tender age of sixteen, Killian made his professional debut playing on the same team as his father on the junior squad. He also had a stint playing in Germany where he averaged 12.8 ppg, 6.2 apg, and 1.5 steals; so, taking on another league is nothing new.
Now, fast forward three years later. He’s a natural point guard at 6’5 with a 6’8 wingspan; not to mention his 216 lbs frame makes him excellent size for his position. His ability to create and facilitate out of the pick and roll has made him a top ten pick. At only nineteen, he has an uncanny ability to see open men for corner threes or find his own shot with his well rounded offensive package, including a step back that some say are reminiscent of another left-handed shooter in James Harden.
The Detroit Pistons selected Hayes with the seventh overall pick and made the announcement he’ll be given the starting position. They’ll be looking for solid production from him while he’s developing on the fly. Having a fellow Frenchman in the locker room could pay dividends. Sekou Doumboya and Kilian are good friends, the Pistons’ first-round pick from a year ago.
For the fans that aren’t familiar, do your research on this young nineteen-year-old. I honestly feel he’s the best pure point guard in this draft class. Killian will be in the rookie of the year conversation all year long, playing in the best leagues Europe has to offer. That experience allowed him to play against better talent than the collegiate level.
His ball-handling is better than advertised and his court vision is second to none in his respective draft class. Basketball fans, this kid is the real deal. He shows leadership skills as a teenager and will provide the Pistons with a true point guard of the future, something those great fans have been searching for since Chauncey Billups left the organization over ten years ago.
Veterans like Derrick Rose have praised the rookie on how poised he is in training camp. He went on to elaborate that he’s feeling honored and happy to mentor the young man as he begins his new journey. Wayne Ellington, another Piston, was raving about Hayes’s ability to see the floor and how it’s showing early with lobs and other easy buckets in scrimmages. Both Troy Weaver, Pistons General Manager, and Head Coach Dwane Casey said he will make a big impact on the defensive end, and that was on full display as well.
Many reports say he left that scrimmage with four blocks. Utilizing his length defensively will make him a fan favorite instantly in the tough-minded, blue color city of Detroit. Most young players don’t show the grit on that side of the ball, but by being an overseas prospect, he had to defend to play across the pond.
I project him as an instant spark to a lackluster team, giving them a gleam of hope in what will be a rough season. My guess is he’ll average around seven assists to go along with 14 points. You can also expect a steal a game from his quick hands and long wingspan, but Pistons fans remember, he’s only nineteen and will have to adjust, so he might turn over the ball as he learns the speed of today’s NBA; however, he’s going to be a solid player for years to come!