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Killian Hayes looking forward to forming backcourt duo with Derrick Rose

The Pistons drafted Hayes in the first round to be the go-to guard of the future. The rookie is ready to learn from the former MVP.

NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver reacts to the Detroit Pistons number seven overall pick of Killian Hayes during the 2020 NBA Draft on November 18, 2020 in Bristol, Connecticut at ESPN Headquarters. Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Detroit Pistons rookie G Killian Hayes is getting ready for his first season in the NBA. He was selected with the No. 7 overall pick by the Pistons, who were lacking in talent at pretty much every position. Detroit had an interesting free agency period, and now that the dust has settled there, we’re getting ready for training camp. Hayes will be joined in his new backcourt by veteran PG Derrick Rose, whom Hayes is looking forward to playing with this season.

Hayes has the fifth-best odds on DraftKings Sportsbook to win NBA Rookie of the Year in 2020-21 at +700. Among all the players in the ROTY conversation, Hayes might have the easiest track to a starting spot and playing time. Among the names competing with Hayes for a starting spot include: Langston Galloway, Jordan McRae, Brandon Knight, Svi Mykhailiuk, Delon Wright, Zhaire Smith ... the list goes on and on with underwhelming names.

The Pistons shouldn’t hold Hayes back; he had been playing professionally in Germany in the EuroCup for Ulm, plus played two seasons for Cholet in France. As a teenager in the EuroCup, Hayes averaged 12.8 points and 6.2 assists over 10 games while shooting 39 percent from beyond the arc.

Rose is 32 and entering his 12th season in the NBA. He won MVP back in 2011, stealing the award from LeBron James. Before suffering a torn ACL, Rose was viewed as one of the more explosive point guards in recent memory. While Rose and Hayes’ styles don’t exactly contrast, the veteran can certainly help the rookie with moves to the rim and working the pick-and-roll in the NBA. Despite a lessened role of late, Rose can still fill it up, averaging 18 PPG in each of the past two seasons.

The Pistons could also look to deal Rose before the trade deadline. If that’s the case, Hayes would almost certainly be in line for more playing time at some point this season. If he gets off to a slow start, that could be the spark he needs to take Rookie of the Year if he’s behind in the race. For that reason, I think it’s not a bad idea to get in on Hayes at 7/1 now and then maybe monitor the ROTY odds to get some value if he drops.

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