The Detroit Pistons are 2-18, with 17 straight losses on their ledger. Expectations weren't exactly high for Detroit, but there hasn't been a more disappointing team in the 2023-24 season. Rather than noticeable progress under highly touted (and very expensive) head coach Monty Williams, the Pistons have regressed. The on-court product is difficult to watch, and it's hard to express any measure of confidence in the current young core.
Detroit has been blatantly tanking and rebuilding since 2019-20. Cade Cunningham was the No. 1 overall pick in 2021. The franchise has been stuck in the mud for years. It's time for the Pistons to shake it up — maybe even blow it up.
As the Pistons trend toward a much-needed reset, here are the folks most to blame for the NBA's No. 27 offense and No. 24 defense.
3. Killian Hayes continues to disappoint as starting point guard
The Pistons burned the No. 7 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft on Killian Hayes. He was beloved in some draft circles, often pitched in the same tier as Anthony Edwards or LaMelo Ball. Yours truly watched the 6-foot-5 Frenchman torch defenders with step-back 3s and elegantly navigate pick-and-rolls enough to rank him No. 2 overall.
We all miss sometimes.
Detroit was lauded for the Hayes pick, but we are far enough along to extinguish any lingering faith in Hayes as the Pistons' point guard of the future. He still flashes tantilizing upside here and there, but the shooting is too inconsistent, and the decision-making is too erratic.
Hayes is averaging 9.7 points and 4.3 assists on .425/.321/.677 splits in 26.9 minutes. He has started in 16 of 20 appearances for Detroit this season. The 22-year-old deserves credit for limiting turnovers (0.9 per game), but until Hayes can meaningfully threaten defenses as a scorer, a concrete ceiling will remain on his playmaking acumen. The 3s don't fall enough and he's a strikingly poor finisher at the rim.
The Pistons continue to start Hayes, often at the expense of better prospects like Jaden Ivey and Marcus Sasser. Detroit's problems extend far beyond Hayes, who has made noticeable improvements in his fourth NBA season, but it's hard not to partially blame the Pistons' failed rebuild on the French lefty.