Killian Hayes

Eastern Notes: Dellavedova, Pistons, Cavs, Heat

On opening night of the 2020/21 preseason, reserve Cavaliers point guard Matthew Dellavedova suffered a major concussion. His continued troubling symptoms two months later may impede his basketball future, according to Joe Vardon and Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. Dellavedova’s symptoms have prevented the 30-year-old vet from making much momentum in his recovery.

“He’s taking steps, but they’re small steps,” Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said about the backup guard’s recovery last month. “With the history that he has, with the concussions, we’re taking every caution that we possibly can to make sure that he’s gonna be fully recovered first before we do anything with him.”

There’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • After the Pistons selected point guard Killian Hayes with the No. 7 pick in the 2020 draft, James L. Edwards III and Sam Vecenie of The Athletic posit that the 5-16 team should still consider drafting 6’7″ Oklahoma State ball handler Cade Cunningham if they have the opportunity to do so. Cunningham is averaging 18.3 PPG, 5.9 RPG and 3.5 APG for the Cowboys.
  • Though the Cavaliers have enjoyed an impressive 10-12 start to their 2020/21 season (good for the No. 7 seed in the East), Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com opines that the team needs to update its offense from a physical, bully-ball style to a more contemporary, three-point heavy output. “I definitely believe we need more 3s,” second-year guard Darius Garland said. “I don’t think we win any games just shooting all 2s. When we get player movement, we get open shots. And that’s when we knock them down. That’s when we are at our best.”
  • Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel speculates about how the Heat can improve their bench depth with potential minimum salary roster additions, especially given the team’s recent rash of short- and long-term player injuries and coronavirus-related player absences.

Killian Hayes Out At Least Eight More Weeks

The right hip subluxation that has sidelined Pistons rookie lottery selection Killian Hayes since January 4 will keep him off the court for at least the next eight weeks, the club announced today in a press release. Detroit will re-evaluate the 19-year-old point guard and determine a return timeline after that period.

When he first incurred the injury, Hayes was originally projected to miss about four to six weeks should a specialist determine he would not require surgery.

The silver lining to this extended absence, however, is that Hayes will apparently not require a surgical procedure to address the injury, per David Aldridge of The Athletic (via Twitter).

Veteran point guards Derrick Rose and Delon Wright will continue to soak up most of Hayes’ minutes as the rookie continues to recover. Third-year point guard Frank Jackson may get additional run. Forwards Jerami Grant and Blake Griffin will be relied upon for supplemental ball-handling.

Across his first seven NBA games, Hayes especially struggled on offense. He sported an underwhelming slash line of .277/.250/.500.

Central Notes: Donovan, Weaver, Drummond, LeVert

The frustration for the Bulls and new head coach Billy Donovan is mounting over their penchant for blowing big leads. Chicago squandered a 10-point cushion in the final two minutes of regulation and lost in overtime on Friday to the Thunder, prompting Donovan to make some pointed comments about his team’s psyche.

“This is a hard-working group. It’s a good group of guys. They want to win,” the Bulls’ coach said, per Royce Young of ESPN. “They don’t know how to. They are learning how to.

The Bulls have committed a league-worst 18.3 turnovers per game and Donovan believes that’s the crux of their problem. “We’ve gotten destroyed in the turnover battle the whole entire year,” he said.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • New Pistons GM Troy Weaver engineered a number of draft-night trades and wound up with four rookies on the roster. He’s thrilled with all of them, even though lottery pick Killian Hayes struggled as a starter before suffering a hip injury, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com writes. Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart have jumped into the rotation and second-rounder Saben Lee is getting some spot time with Hayes sidelined. “We can debate the player all day long, but we’re not going to debate the person,” Weaver said. “These are high-character guys who work and are selfless. Extremely excited about them.”
  • Jarrett Allen appears to be the Cavaliers’ main man in the middle after they acquired the restricted free agent from the Nets this week, but they shouldn’t be so quick to give away Andre Drummond, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer opines. Drummond has been highly productive this season, as his 33-point, 23-rebound outing against the Knicks demonstrates. Trading Drummond, an unrestricted free agent after the season, could wind up making the team less competitive.
  • The Pacers are replacing Victor Oladipo with Caris LeVert in their impending trade with the Rockets. While those guards have similar stats, their skill sets vary greatly. J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star provides a breakdown of their strengths and weaknesses.

Central Notes: Warren, Hayes, Rose, Giannis/Forbes

Starting Pacers small forward T.J. Warren went under the knife on Tuesday, January 5, to repair a small navicular stress fracture in his left foot, according to Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. Agness added that there is no timeline for Warren’s return to the floor following his surgery.

In his four healthy games this season, Warren averaged 15.5 PPG (on 52.9% shooting from the field), 3.5 RPG, and 1.3 APG for the Pacers.

There’s more out of the NBA’s Central Division:

  • After starting Pistons point guard Killian Hayes suffered a labral tear in his right hip, Detroit remains open to multiple possibilities with regard to his recovery, according to Rod Beard of the Detroit News. Hayes could try to rehabilitate without undergoing surgery, and potentially return this season in 4-6 weeks if he responds well to non-surgical treatment, or he could go the surgical route, and face a longer-term rehab process that could finish his rookie season. Sources tell James Edwards III of The Athletic that there does not appear to be structural damage in the hip.
  • Luckily for the Pistons, whose point guard corps has thinned out thanks to Hayes’ torn labrum, his backup Derrick Rose is not expected to miss any time with a minor right knee contusion suffered yesterday, according to Rod Beard of the Detroit News.
  • Reigning two-time Bucks MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo has developed a strong on-court rapport with new reserve guard Bryn Forbes, highlighted by a flashy inverted pick-and-roll action, according to Eric Nehm of The Athletic. “It’s a play that works,” Antetokounmpo said. “If you don’t stay in front of me, I’m going to try to go downhill and if somebody else comes, the corner is wide-open.”

Pistons’ Killian Hayes Suffers Labral Tear In Hip

11:31am: The Pistons are sending Hayes to a specialist to determine next steps, reports Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports.

If Hayes can avoid surgery, he may miss about four-to-six weeks, says Goodwill. Sources tell Yahoo Sports that surgery is still an option, however — in that scenario, the rookie guard may not be able to return this season.


8:14am: Pistons rookie Killian Hayes has been diagnosed with a labral tear in his right hip, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Hayes suffered the injury in Monday night’s game against Milwaukee, leaving in the third quarter following a drive to the basket. The plan was to have him undergo an MRI on Tuesday, so presumably that MRI revealed the labral tear.

A timeline for Hayes’ return to the court has yet to be confirmed, tweets James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. It’s possible the Pistons and Hayes are still assessing whether or not the injury will require surgery — going under the knife would result in a longer-term absence for the No. 7 overall pick.

Hayes, one of the NBA’s youngest players, started each of Detroit’s first seven games and struggled to make an immediate impact in his first taste of NBA action. The 19-year-old averaged 4.6 PPG and 3.6 APG on .277/.250/.500 shooting in 21.1 minutes per contest.

With Hayes sidelined, the Pistons figure to lean more heavily on veteran point guards Derrick Rose and Delon Wright. Two-way players Saben Lee and Frank Jackson are also on the roster as depth options at the point, though neither one has seen any playing time yet this season.

Injury Updates: Exum, Hayes, Bogdanovic, Okogie, Towns

Cavaliers guard Dante Exum departed Monday’s game against Orlando in the opening minute with a right calf strain, according to Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He went down with a non-contact injury and eventually hobbled to the bench, unable to put weight on his leg. Cleveland players spoke with optimism regarding the injury after the game, Fedor tweets.

Here are a few more injury-related notes from around the NBA:

  • Pistons lottery pick Killian Hayes left Monday’s game against Milwaukee during the third quarter with a right hip injury, James Edwards III of The Athletic tweets. Hayes has started regularly during his rookie season. He’ll have an MRI on Tuesday, coach Dwane Casey said after the game.
  • Jazz swingman Bojan Bogdanovic has continually experienced soreness in his surgically repaired right wrist, Sarah Todd of The Deseret News writes. Bogdanovic put on a brace during Sunday’s game against San Antonio and it helped dramatically, as he scored 28 points. “I really hate to play with anything on my body, any tape, any brace, anything,” he said. “But I really needed it because my wrist is kind od sore whenever I follow through when I’m shooting.”
  • Josh Okogie is closer to returning than Karl-Anthony Towns for the Timberwolves, Darren Wolfson of KSTP tweets. Okogie has missed the last four games with a left hamstring strain. Towns has only played two games due to a dislocated left wrist. Meanwhile, Jaylen Nowell is ramping up in practice and is close to making his season debut. He’s been sidelined with a left ankle injury.

Central Notes: Doumbouya, Hayes, Bickerstaff, LaVine

Pistons second-year forward Sekou Doumbouya has received limited playing time in the early going, Rod Beard of the Detroit News notes.

The Pistons’ first-round pick in 2019 has not played more than 13 minutes in the team’s first four games. Dwane Casey said that Doumbouya has to deal with the fact he’s backing up Blake Griffin, who missed Friday’s game against Boston with a concussion.

“Blake’s going to get the majority of those minutes and (Doumbouya’s) got to make his minutes count. If Blake’s not going, (Doumbouya’s) minutes will get ratcheted up,” the Pistons head coach said. “It’s that situation, where he’s behind an All-Pro guy, and that’s his challenge right now.”

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Pistons lottery pick Killian Hayes has struggled thus far as the starting point guard and Casey isn’t surprised, Beard writes in a separate story. The lack of practice time due to the shortened offseason put Hayes in a difficult situation, since the Pistons are intent on giving him experience. “We threw him in the fire — which was really unfair to him, because there’s no Summer League, there’s no August or September (workout time),” Casey said. “You’re going right from working out in Florida to going against NBA players.”
  • The Cavaliers have lost two straight after starting out 3-0 and coach J.B. Bickerstaff believes his young unit is still learning to handle adversity, according to Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer“There was doubt as a unit. There was doubt as a team. And you can’t survive playing against good teams without that belief,” Bickerstaff said. “We have good players. … When they play together, with confidence and a belief, they can be a good basketball team. And that’s what we have to get to. But it takes time.”
  • The Bulls defeated Washington on Thursday despite being shorthanded and Zach LaVine feels the team is showing more resolve, Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic writes. “This team is tired of being labeled losers and underachieving,” LaVine said. “Everything is not going to be perfect. We’re not going to go out and win every game. But our demeanor has been a lot better than it has been the last couple of years.”

Central Notes: Cavs, Pistons, Hayes, Griffin, Hutchison

The Cavaliers received approval from the Ohio Department of Health to increase their crowd capacity for home games at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. As Fedor details, the franchise will now be able to host 1,944 fans per game, which is the equivalent of 10% of the arena’s capacity.

Ohio regulations currently limit attendance at indoor sports arena or entertainment venues to 300 people or 15% of the seating capacity, whichever is less. So an exception is being made for the Cavaliers, who will be able to host nearly 2,000 fans.

However, that amount still falls well short of the team’s initial request. According to Fedor, the plan the Cavs originally submitted to government officials asked for an allowance of 4,596 fans, 23.65% of their arena’s capacity.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • The Pistons, who are off to an 0-4 start this season, are prepared to go through some growing pains as Isaiah Stewart, Saddiq Bey, Killian Hayes, and their other youngsters get acclimated to the NBA. “This year is about getting those guys ready, developing, teaching – and it’s painful,” head coach Dwane Casey said, per Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. “We’re going through it right now and we’ve just got to learn from those situations and we’ve just got to be ready when they throw it up again.”
  • As Rod Beard of The Detroit News details, both Hayes and Blake Griffin left the Pistons‘ loss on Tuesday due to injuries — Hayes suffered a right ankle sprain, while Griffin entered the concussion protocol after taking an elbow to the jaw. It’s unclear so far whether Hayes and Griffin are being considered day-to-day or whether they may be ruled out for multiple games.
  • Despite being limited to 72 games and making just 29.5% of his three-point attempts in his first two NBA seasons, Chandler Hutchison had his $4MM fourth-year option for 2021/22 picked up by the Bulls. Now healthy, Hutchison is looking to prove he can make an impact off the bench, writes Sam Smith of Bulls.com.

Pistons Notes: Bey, Doumbouya, Mykhailiuk, Hayes

The Pistons weren’t sharp in Friday’s preseason opener, but one encouraging sign was the play of rookie forward Saddiq Bey, writes Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press. The 19th pick in this year’s draft tied for the team lead with 14 points while recording a plus-12 in his taste of first NBA action. Bey shot just 4-of-12 from the floor, but coach Dwane Casey said the offense was crisper when he was on the court.

Bey, who hit 45.1% from beyond the arc last season at Villanova, is one of Detroit’s few dependable three-point shooters. Casey indicated that he could see regular playing time, especially when the team uses smaller lineups.

“The game wasn’t too big for him,” Casey said. “He came in and played. Really happy to see him, and there’s some minutes to be had at the three and four position when we do go small. That was a big-time bright spot for us was his play. And again, I’m not just looking at the points. Everybody said well, he scored 14 points. I’m looking at just his overall compete level, his positioning and his play on the defensive end was solid.”

There’s more from Detroit:

  • Bey could take minutes away from second-year forward Sekou Doumbouya, suggests James L. Edwards of The Athletic. Doumbouya was the 15th overall pick last season, but Edwards sees Bey as already a more complete and reliable player. Doumbouya has only been playing basketball for seven years and wasn’t able to excel in any area as a rookie, according to Edwards.
  • Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk made a strong case for a starting role with his performance Friday, Edwards adds in the same piece. He hit 4-of-8 shots from three-point range and gives the team a legitimate threat from the perimeter. Delon Wright, who got the start at shooting guard, is more of a natural point guard and didn’t attempt a single three-pointer in the game, Edwards observes.
  • Rookie point guard Killian Hayes was thrown into the fire Friday night, getting a start in his first NBA game, notes Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Although Hayes committed seven turnovers, Casey saw enough positives to be encouraged. “He did a lot of good things. The turnovers are glaring, and you see them, but they didn’t bother me. That’s part of the growing process for him,” Casey said. “I promise you he’ll learn from them and he’s a quick learner. I was showing him video this morning and he saw it and talked about what he did wrong before it was even shown on the video. Those things are going to happen and once he gets to the length and quickness and speed of the NBA, it won’t take him long (to improve).”

Central Notes: Rose, Hayes, Osman, Pacers, Wright, Gafford

Derrick Rose is eager to mentor Pistons lottery pick Killian Hayes, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Rose, who is entering his walk year, plans to make Hayes “uncomfortable” in camp to get the French point guard prepared for the rigors of the NBA. “My job is to push him and to groom him,” Rose said. “Coming from overseas, guys are going to try to play aggressive with him, so it’s my job to play aggressive on him throughout this whole camp so when he gets in a game he won’t feel that much pressure.”

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Cavaliers’ small forward starting job is up for grabs, as Chris Fedor of The Cleveland Plain Dealer details. Rookie Isaac Okoro, Cedi Osman and Dylan Windler are the candidates, with Osman trying to holding onto the spot he’s occupied over the past two seasons. “Minutes have to be earned,” head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “You’ve got to earn everything here.”
  • The Pacers won’t have fans for their December home games but they’re hoping that changes as early as January, according to a team press release. Pacers Sports & Entertainment’s statement read in part, “We look forward to having fans back to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in January, and we will provide updates in the near future.”
  • Guard Delon Wright wanted to rejoin Dwane Casey for the last two or three years, Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press tweets. Wright was traded last month to the Pistons, where he’ll be coached once again by Casey. Wright played three-and-a-half seasons with Toronto – mostly under Casey – before he was dealt to Memphis in February 2019. Wright thought he might get traded to Detroit before he wound up with the Grizzlies. He played for Dallas last season.
  • Bulls big man Daniel Gafford said he contacted former coach Jim Boylen to “clear the air” after Gafford made some remarks this summer criticizing Boylen’s personality and coaching methods, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. “I had contact with Jim, just made sure I cleared the air that it wasn’t anything intentional, that I was just trying to bash him or anything like that,’’ Gafford said. “It was nothing like that at all. … That was just basically constructive criticism, in my opinion.”