Pistons Waive Killian Hayes

4:31pm: The Pistons have officially waived Hayes, the team confirmed today (Twitter link).

12:57pm: Former lottery pick Killian Hayes will be released by the Pistons, according to a report from James L. Edwards III and Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The seventh overall pick in the 2020 draft, Hayes entered the NBA with a reputation for being a solid defender and passer whose offensive game was a work in progress. That’s essentially still the case, as his shooting percentages have increased only marginally over the course of his four NBA seasons.

Hayes averaged 6.9 points, 4.9 assists, and 2.8 rebounds in 24.0 minutes per game across 42 appearances (31 starts) this season, with a shooting line of .413/.297/.660. Those field goal and three-point percentages actually represent career bests.

The Pistons reportedly explored the trade market for Hayes prior to Thursday’s deadline – talking to the Grizzlies, among other teams – but apparently didn’t find a deal to their liking. The team agreed to a series of trades that will bring in seven players while sending out three, so the 22-year-old guard will be a victim of the roster crunch, joining Joe Harris among those waived.

Cutting Hayes and Harris will put the Pistons in position to complete at least one and potentially two of their three reported trade agreements. They’ll need to waive two more players to finalize all three deals, but those last two cuts could come from their group of newly acquired players.

Hayes will be eligible to sign with any NBA team if and when he clears waivers, since his salary is well shy of this season’s non-taxpayer mid-level exception.

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