Killian Hayes

Pistons Sign Three First-Round Picks

The Pistons have signed first-round picks Killian Hayes, Isaiah Stewart and Saddiq Bey, according to a team press release.

Hayes, a point guard from France, was the highest of those picks, going with the No. 7 selection. Assuming he received 120% of the rookie scale for his slot, Hayes will make $5,307,120 in his first season and can make $24,131,515 over the next four years if team options are exercised in the third and fourth seasons.

Stewart and Bey were acquired in draft night agreements. Stewart, a center, was chosen with the No. 16 pick. He’ll make $3,121,080 in his first year and can make $15,098,193 over the next four seasons.

Bey, a forward, was taken with the 19th selection. He’ll bring in $2,689,920 as a rookie and can make $13,030,303 over the next four seasons.

Guard Saben Lee, a second-round pick, was also inked. He will reportedly play on a two-way contract.

Central Notes: Bulls, Porter, Hayes, Giannis

Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports takes a look at some of the key storylines facing the Bulls roster heading into training camp. Though the club’s personnel off the court underwent some drastic revisions, the current on-court product looks fairly similar, Schaefer notes.

Rookies Patrick Williams and Devon Dotson join free agent additions Garrett Temple and Noah Vonleh. Guards Kris Dunn and Shaquille Harrison are currently the only significant departures from the 2019/20 roster. Individual workouts commence this Tuesday, December 1, while team workouts kick off on December 6.

Schaeffer notes that the starting point guard position could be up for grabs in new head coach Billy Donovan‘s first training camp with the Bulls. Though second-year guard Coby White started the Bulls’ most recent game, Tomas Satoransky was the lead guard for the other 64 games of the 2019/20 season. The fates of deep-bench centers Cristiano Felicio and Luke Kornet and the club’s two-way players are narratives that offer some intrigue as well.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • The Bulls will need for starting small forward Otto Porter to prove he’s worth his contract in the final year of his lucrative deal and become a trade asset by the deadline, and for starting power forward Lauri Markkanen to develop a game that stagnated last season, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes.
  • Former Pistons guard Will Bynum, now a trainer and founder of The Grind Family skills academy for basketball players, recently discussed his experience training new Detroit point guard Killian Hayes, according to Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press Pistons. “His lateral footwork is really, really good,” Bynum said. “His hands are quick. And he has the patience to defend really, really good rhythm players offensively.”
  • With his looming maximum salary extension now the talk of the league, Bucks MVP forward Giannis Antetokounmpo was set to depart his native Greece for the U.S. this weekend ahead of the team’s training camp kickoff, according to Antigoni Zachari of Eurohoops.

Central Notes: Pacers, Hayward, Kennard, Pistons, Bucks, Bulls

In a pair of stories, Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files and J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star (subscription required) provide a few additional details on the Pacers‘ pursuit of Gordon Hayward in free agency, confirming that the Celtics sought a second starting player in addition to Myles Turner in a potential Hayward sign-and-trade. That lines up with what Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe reported last week.

Agness says that Hayward and his family purchased a home in the Indianapolis area over a year ago and that his wife was excited about the possibility of moving back to Indiana. However, Ainge apparently drove a hard bargain in trade discussions — Michael reports that even an offer of Turner, a first-round pick, and a rotation player (possibly Doug McDermott, as Washburn reported) wasn’t enough to win over the Celtics.

It’s possible that the hard line drawn by Ainge wouldn’t have ultimately mattered — the Hornets‘ offer of four years and $120MM was about $15MM higher than the Pacers were willing to go, according to Agness. That difference certainly may have been enough to lure Hayward to Charlotte even if the Pacers and Celtics had agreed to trade terms.

Still, both Agness’ and Michael’s reports seem to suggest there was a window when the two teams’ inability to work out a sign-and-trade agreement may have been the only thing standing in the way of Hayward going to Indiana. According to Michael, once the Hornets put their $120MM offer on the table, Ainge wanted to go back to the Pacers to negotiate in “good faith,” but Hayward’s agent Mark Bartelstein “pulled the plug” on that as the veteran forward chose Charlotte.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • It flew under the radar a little since it wasn’t reported as part of the initial agreement, but the Pistons gave up an eye-popping four second-round picks in their deal that sent Luke Kennard to the Clippers and landed them No. 19 pick Saddiq Bey. According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe (Insider link), those four second-rounders “appear to have been in part the cost of Kennard’s past knee issues.” However, Kennard’s camp is confident those issues are behind him, and it seems the Clippers are too, writes Lowe.
  • While the 2020 draft may not be packed with future stars, Pistons general manager Troy Weaver said his club “really liked” this year’s class, which was why the team traded for multiple extra picks. “We liked the players that were in it and we just felt there were quality young men that could help continue to build our program, we were aggressive,” Weaver said, per Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Referring to Bey, Killian Hayes, Isaiah Stewart, and Saben Lee, the Pistons’ GM added, “Hopefully, we can look back in time and call this our core four.”
  • The failed Bogdan Bogdanovic sign-and-trade was a bad look for the franchise, but Matt Velazquez of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (subscription required) contends there’s a case to be made that the Bucks will ultimately be better off with the moves they made instead. Not landing Bogdanovic allowed Milwaukee to offer more than the minimum to add role players like D.J. Augustin, Bobby Portis, and Bryn Forbes, and the team didn’t end up having to part with promising 23-year-old Donte DiVincenzo.
  • In his latest mailbag, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago fields questions about the Bulls‘ surprising No. 4 draft pick and the club’s relatively quiet free agent period.

Pistons Notes: Draft, Hayes, Kennard, Lee, More

The Pistons, who at one point held only the No. 7 pick in the Wednesday night’s draft, came away with three of the top 19 selections after a series of trades that saw them secure Killian Hayes (No. 7), Isaiah Stewart (No. 16), and Saddiq Bey (No. 19). For good measure, they also picked up the 38th overall pick in another deal and drafted Saben Lee.

The moves were a reflection of the aggressiveness that new general manager Troy Weaver hopes to bring to the job, as Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press writes.

“We’re going to attack the draft, we’re going to attack free agency, we’re going to attack everything,” Weaver said. “I said coming in, this was going to be a restoring of two interactions of the great Pistons teams. That was their mentality. They were aggressive, they were on the attack and we want to follow suit. That’s the mantra and we’ll hopefully continue to be aggressive. But we wanted to set the tone.”

Here’s more on the Pistons:

  • The Pistons view Killian Hayes as having the most upside of anyone in this draft class, according to James Edwards III of The Athletic. While it’s easy to make that claim after drafting him, it sounds like Hayes was aware that the team was high on him. “I was confident (that Detroit would pick me), but you never know until it happens,” he said after the draft, per Edwards.
  • Although the Pistons liked Luke Kennard, they felt as if his timeline didn’t match up with theirs, according to Edwards. The club viewed him as a productive role player on a team further down the road than Detroit is now.
  • The Pistons had a first-round grade on No. 38 pick Saben Lee, sources tell Edwards. Lee is reportedly signing a two-way deal.
  • The Pistons are receiving $1.5MM in cash from the Nets in the deal that will send Bruce Brown to Brooklyn, Edwards reports (via Twitter).

Pacific Notes: Suns Practice Facility, Kings, No. 10 Pick, Rubio

In addition to acquiring new All-NBA point guard Chris Paul, the Suns have also started to work out in the team’s brand-new $45MM practice facility, the Verizon 5G Performance Center, for the 2020/21 season, as Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic details.

The 53,000 square foot facility will be used by both the Suns and the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA. Verizon will equip the facility with “performance analytics and biometric innovations,” per Rankin, which will help the team assess its players during practices.“Verizon’s powerful 5G technology is seamlessly incorporated throughout our facility in a way that is unprecedented in the NBA and American professional sports today,” general manager James Jones commented in a statement.

“That cohesion provides our staff with unparalleled opportunities to efficiently unlock each athlete’s fullest potential,” Jones continued. The Suns, hot off an 8-0 run during the NBA’s Orlando-based seeding games, look to finally make a playoff return thanks to the expected improvement of young stars Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, plus the addition of Paul.

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • There has been developing buzz that point guard Killian Hayes might fall to the Kings with the No. 12 pick, according to Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee. The 6’5″ guard has been projected as falling to Sacramento in mock drafts today from Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, Jonathan Givony of ESPN, and Sam Vecenie of The Athletic and Tankathon.
  • Were the Suns to retain their No. 10 lottery pick tonight, they could benefit from an addition across several positions, per Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic. Point guards Kira Lewis Jr., Killian Hayes and Tyrell Terry could serve as solid understudies for the 35-year-old Chris Paul, while forward Aaron Nesmith might also be an intriguing fit.
  • New Thunder point guard Ricky Rubio, a key part of the Sunstrade to acquire Paul, was not expecting to be traded this offseason, according to a recent interview with Spanish outlet Marca.com recapped by Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic“It was a surprise, especially because of the communication that there has been,” Rubio said. “When [I heard] the rumors about my transfer, I called my people and they told me that my name was not on the table.” Rubio inked a three-year, $51MM contract with Phoenix last summer.

Draft Rumors: Hayes, Nesmith, Anthony, Okongwu, Hawks, More

In his latest mock draft in advance of tonight’s event, Jeremy Woo of SI.com shares several interesting tidbits, writing that Killian Hayes is “strongly in play” for the Pistons at No. 7 and suggesting there’s some concern about Aaron Nesmith‘s injured foot, which ended his season at Vanderbilt.

Woo also hears from sources that Cole Anthony has interviewed in recent days with multiple teams outside the top 20 and that the Celtics and Spurs would be among the teams with interest in Onyeka Okongwu if he slides out of the top 10 due to his foot injury.

Woo reports that there’s “significant traction” for Devin Vassell within the Knicks‘ front office, making him a viable option at No. 8 if the team stays put. Finally, Woo says the Celtics have shown interest in Duke big man Vernon Carey Jr., who could be an option at No. 26 or No. 30.

Here’s more on the 2020 NBA draft:

  • The Hawks are currently planning to keep and use the No. 6 pick tonight, a source tells Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report (Twitter link). That could change if Atlanta gets a surprise last-minute offer, Wasserman cautions, but for the time being, it sounds as if the team is comfortable staying put.
  • We still don’t know with any certainty which player the Timberwolves will select with the No. 1 pick tonight, but Georgia guard Anthony Edwards has emerged as the betting favorite at Las Vegas sportsbooks, writes David Purdum of ESPN.com.
  • While USC big man Onyeka Okongwu may not be ready for training camp due to a foot injury, it sounds like the issue shouldn’t impact his draft stock too significantly. One source who spoke to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link) predicted that Okongwu will still likely come off the board before the Wizards pick at No. 9.

Draft Notes: Tyrell Terry, Isaiah Joe, LaMelo, Hayes

Stanford point guard Tyrell Terry has worked out for the Nets and Grizzlies, in addition to conducting Zoom meetings with Brooklyn and the Knicks, per Brian Lewis of the New York Post (Twitter link). Lewis notes that Terry has not worked out in person for any other clubs as of earlier today. Brooklyn has the No. 19 and No. 55 picks in tomorrow’s draft, while Memphis owns the No. 40 pick.

There’s more in the the lead up to the big day tomorrow:

  • According to Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report (Twitter link), there is buzz that the Sixers may have promised to draft 6’5″ Arkansas guard Isaiah Joe with either the No. 21 or No. 34 pick tomorrow.
  • Ahead of tomorrow’s draft, Joe Vardon of The Athletic reflects back on LaMelo Ball‘s 2018/19 tenure with SPIRE Academy in Geneva, Ohio before heading overseas before his NBA eligibility. “It was great for a time and it was helpful to our brand and it was good for the program and it was interesting, but I don’t think that’s something we want,” SPIRE chief operating officer Jeff Orloff said.
  • 6’4″ Ratiopharm Ulm combo guard Killian Hayes reflected on his international career prior to this season’s NBA draft with Sean Deveney of Forbes.com. “It wasn’t easy at all,” Hayes said. “The physical part was very tough for me.”

Draft Notes: Hayes, Anthony, Maxey, Zoom

The Knicks were hoping to work out Killian Hayes before Wednesday’s draft, but a COVID-19 outbreak may prevent that from happening, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. The team had to close its training facility in Tarrytown after three staff members tested positive for the virus on Tuesday.

New York will consider the French point guard with its No. 8 pick and he may be an even stronger possibility if the Knicks trade down. The team has collected plenty of information on Hayes, such as his measurements and medical records, and interviewed him via Zoom.

“Everyone saw the progress and a lot of changes to my game,’’ Hayes said. “What I really improved on, really, is my body. As soon as you see me, there’s a big difference and change from eight months ago to now. … The player that I was back in March is not the same player I am today. I’ve really leveled up a lot.”

Hayes turned 19 in July, making him one of the youngest players in the draft. However, he faced much older competition in Germany and says fellow Frenchmen Frank Ntilikina and Sekou Doumbouya have helped him prepare for the NBA.

“I learned a lot being able to leading a group of grown men,’’ Hayes said. “I’m used to playing against a lot of physicality. People coming at me. That will definitely help me.’’

There’s more draft news to pass along:

  • Cole Anthony believes his love for the game will help him succeed in the NBA, writes Chris Dortch of NBA.com. Anthony demonstrated his commitment by returning to the court for North Carolina after undergoing surgery during the season to fix a small meniscus tear in his right knee. “A few things went into my decision to keep playing,” he said. “But first and foremost, I love the sport of basketball. A lot of people say that, but they don’t really mean it. I truly love the game. And I wasn’t going to sit out when I was healthy and I could go.”
  • In an interview with Ethan Fuller of Basketball News, Tyrese Maxey said he’s been working to improve his outside shot after hitting just 29% from beyond the arc in college. “You have to be able to shoot the ball at the next level,” Maxey explained. “As a guard my height, and guards in the NBA, period, it’s hard to be on the floor and play in an NBA game without being able to knock down wide-open threes. I feel like I’m a way better shooter than what the numbers say.”
  • Teams are relying on Zoom and other technology to handle the unusual circumstances surrounding this year’s draft, writes Mark Medina of USA Today.

Southeast Notes: Wizards, Hayes, Zeller, Magic

Because the NBA salary cap for the 2020/21 season was not reduced in the league’s new CBA, as had been feared, the Wizards will have more flexibility in the offseason under the cap than the team was perhaps anticipating, as Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington details. Hughes anticipates that, as a result, Washington may now be able to retain sharpshooting free agent power forward Davis Bertans.

If the Wizards do opt to keep Bertans, they will still have the non-taxpayer mid-level exception and their bi-annual exception at their disposal. Using this money to add defensive-oriented players may be the smartest application of these signings.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • Draft prospect Killian Hayes has worked out for the Magic, league sources tell Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. Though the Magic own the No. 15 pick, and there is a good chance that Hayes will be gone by then, the team has several players it could package to move up.
  • Hornets center Cody Zeller is not sweating the possibility that the team may use him as a trade chip, as he tells Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. “I don’t stress about it. I understand it’s part of the deal,” he said. Zeller, a free agent in 2021, is owed $15.4MM this season.
  • With their current core, the Magic will have limited cap flexibility this summer to add players in free agency, per Josh Robbins of The Athletic. If all the team’s player options are exercised and all qualifying offers are extended, Orlando will be paying its squad $142.7MM.

Pistons Notes: Wood, Okafor, Hayes, Williams

In an extensive look at intriguing free agent Pistons big man Christian Wood, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer offers some intel on Wood’s possible asking price in free agency and his potential suitors.

There is a significant disparity among O’Connor’s league sources in gauging the annual cost of Wood. Some speculate that Wood may net a deal in the range of the non-taxpayer mid-level exception – which starts at $9.3MM per year – while others think he could earn as much as $18MM a season, equivalent to the current yearly take of Pacers center Myles Turner with incentives. O’Connor expects both championship-caliber clubs looking to add size and young squads making a playoff push to have an interest in Wood’s services.

There’s more out of the Motor City:

  • In other Pistons big man news, James Edwards III of The Athletic tweets that former lottery pick Jahlil Okafor may be a high-scoring, cost-effective option for Detroit. Still just 24, the 6’10” Okafor most recently served as a reserve center for the Pelicans from 2018-20.
  • BBL guard Killian Hayes, regarded as a high-level lottery prospect, has worked out for the Pistons, Rod Beard of the Detroit News tweets. The Pistons, led by new GM Troy Weaver, have the No. 7 pick in next week’s 2020 draft, though they may consider trading up to secure a player they like.
  • The positional versatility of multifaceted 6’8″ Florida State forward Patrick Williams could intrigue Pistons front office brass. “I’m obviously trying to work as hard as I can every day,” Williams said during a call with reporters today, though he would not elaborate on the teams for whom he has worked out. “My agent and I are kind of keeping team workouts in-house and between us.” Multiple reports have suggested Detroit is high on Williams.