Warriors rumors: 3 buyout candidates to address silent trade deadline

The Golden State Warriors stood pat at the trade deadline, but there are still avenues to improve the roster.

Furkan Korkmaz, Stephen Curry
Furkan Korkmaz, Stephen Curry / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Warriors can purchase lottery ticket with Killian Hayes

Why not, ya know?

The Pistons gave Killian Hayes every opportunity to earn his stripes and carve out a significant role. The former No. 7 pick averaged 6.9 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 4.9 assists on .413/.297/.660 splits in 24.0 minutes before the trade deadline. He started 31 of 42 appearances, but even so, he asked for a trade that obviously did not materialize. The Pistons cut him outright. Now, the 22-year-old is available to the highest bidder.

In reality, there won't be a bidding war. Hayes is destined to sign a minimum contract or return to Europe. The French guard once wowed draft scouts with his potent lefty step-backs and impressive passes, but his jumper never translated to the NBA. Hayes has been one of the most inefficient lead guards since his arrival in Detroit in 2020. There's not much to suggest a change of scenery can change his current trajectory.

That said... Hayes is young enough to warrant patience or optimism or whatever you want to call it. He's worth a flier in Golden State's 15th roster spot. He won't get much burn behind Stephen Curry and Chris Paul, but it's hard to imagine better mentors for a guard who has never been surrounded by much experience or structure. Hayes made his bones with Germany's Ratiopharm Ulm, drawing comparisons to James Harden with his size, burst, and pick-and-roll proficiency — on top of the lefty pull-up jumpers. Yours truly ranked him as the No. 2 overall prospect. A huge whiff, but enough for me to say he should get one final shot.

Opportunity does not always equate to the best developmental environment. The Pistons played Hayes a lot, but never in an optimal setting. The Warriors' track record with young players under Steve Kerr is spotty at best, but there's a world in which Hayes provides the occasional bench spark and starts to deliver on his dormant promise.

3 more buyout candidates LA can add after Spencer Dinwiddie. dark. LAKERS RUMORS. 3 more buyout candidates LA can add after Spencer Dinwiddie