When Killian Hayes was out there after the primary six picks of the 2020 NBA draft handed, Will Bynum had a powerful hunch that he would find yourself in Detroit.
Bynum, who performed 338 video games for the Pistons from 2008-14, has been Hayes’ coach and mentor since 2019. A number of weeks earlier than the draft, they’d a coaching session in Hayes’ hometown of Lakeland, Fla.
“I used to be listening to the suggestions from the Pistons and all the pieces, and I knew it was one of many conditions that Killian wished,” Bynum stated. “He had an excellent dialog with coach (Dwane) Casey and I believe that was all the pieces. It’s a kind of conditions the place I believe that the vitality that Killian put on the market, the hassle that he put out and the laborious work, after which me being round him, I believe that’s how Detroit took place.
“I believe that he landed within the good state of affairs — a state of affairs that he needs to be in, in a spot that wishes him.”
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The Pistons drafted Hayes seventh general within the draft Nov. 18, formalizing the French 19-year-old’s relationship with a franchise he had been linked to. Due to Bynum — and Pistons Corridor of Famer and former president Joe Dumars — Hayes was conversant in the Pistons lengthy earlier than he declared for the draft in March.
Dumars linked Bynum to Hayes, and requested Bynum to coach him. Dumars — now a Sacramento Kings government — was employed by Impartial Sports activities & Leisure, a sports activities, media and leisure administration company, in 2014 as president of its basketball division. ISE employed Hayes’ agent, Yann Balikouzou, in July 2019 as their director of worldwide operations. Dumars and Bynum have had a detailed relationship since Bynum to the Pistons in 2008.
Pistons basic supervisor Troy Weaver started scouting Hayes when he was a 16-year-old making his skilled debut with Cholet Basket, a French membership. Whereas he was nonetheless an assistant GM with the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder, Weaver flew to Germany earlier this 12 months, pre-pandemic, to look at Hayes play with ratiopharm Ulm.
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Hayes was excessive on Detroit’s draft board for a number of causes. His dimension, really feel for the sport and expertise as a European participant separated him from a lot of the remainder of the pack.
Bynum is assured Hayes could have a head begin in his transition to the NBA, echoing sentiments from each Casey and Weaver. Hayes has already been enjoying skilled basketball for 3 years, and previous to his skilled debut, he was surrounded by the sport. His dad, DeRon, was a standout at Penn State from 1989-93. When Hayes was a child, DeRon moved the household to Cholet, France after signing with LNB Professional A, France’s prime males’s basketball league.
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“My dad, he’s been right here from the beginning,” Hayes stated. “I bear in mind once I was youthful, simply going to his residence video games, all of his practices. So I received to be taught at a younger age what being knowledgeable was. And having him there every step was actually useful. Undoubtedly a blessing having a father that performed professionally.”
The opposite purpose Bynum and the Pistons are assured Hayes shall be NBA prepared is the prolonged time he labored on his recreation. He was sturdy within the pick-and-roll final season, displayed contact from midrange and has good footwork, particularly for his age. He’s additionally huge for his place and competes on protection, indicating he may very well be a flexible defender.
However getting into the draft, analysts and scouts had been involved about his 3-point taking pictures (29.4% final season, 30-for-102) and his left-hand dominance. Hayes is an efficient free throw shooter and has been working to increase his vary. He stated throughout predraft interviews and after he was drafted that he’s a lot better along with his proper hand in comparison with eight months in the past.
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Regardless of what he has proven and hasn’t proven throughout video games, Bynum has been working with Hayes within the fitness center for practically a 12 months and a half. Bynum is assured Hayes’ shortcomings with ratiopharm Ulm final season aren’t indicative of the place his ability stage is.
“Killilan was by no means not good at something,” Bynum stated. “This child is extraordinarily proficient. He can do all the pieces. Some issues want a bit fine-tuning. It’s simply repetition over and time and again, getting snug with doing issues in numerous conditions, with contact, with out contact, having the ability to do it comfortably sufficient to look away and nonetheless be on track, on time. It’s simply little issues like that, and all that comes from repetition.
“While you’re enjoying in knowledgeable league, the tendencies are to stay to your strengths. He understands his strengths very very effectively, and that’s what makes him who he’s.”
After Hayes was drafted, Bynum referred to as him to offer him a lay of the land. Throughout his six seasons with the franchise, Bynum turned a fan-favorite. He earned the nickname “The Thrill” because of the effort he performed with and the spotlight performs he produced.
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He is aware of what Pistons followers have traditionally been drawn to — hardworking gamers who depart it on the ground. He’s assured Hayes will test these bins.
“I used to be simply giving him some perception on the appreciation of a hard-working participant, what it’s about,” Bynum stated. “Greater than something, the humility and the laborious work is the mix of what Detroit persons are all about, like spilling that onto the court docket and what that appears like from an effort standpoint. We had been simply speaking about that, and seeing the sport from that facet, from the depth and energy facet. And the appreciation (from followers) is all the time, it’s love and it’s mutual. The followers are going to respect that. That’s how he’s coming in anyway.”
Contact Omari Sankofa II at email@example.com. Comply with him on Twitter @omarisankofa. Learn extra on the Detroit Pistons and join our Pistons e-newsletter.
This text initially appeared on Detroit Free Press: Killian Hayes’ connection to Detroit Pistons begins with Joe Dumars