NBA Trades: Spurs can add a recent lottery pick in this deal with Pistons

Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)
Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images) /

Despite having just drafted generational prospect Victor Wembanyama first overall, the San Antonio Spurs have otherwise had a surprisingly low-key summer. Instead of using their nearly $40 million in cap space to pursue a big-name free agent, they used most of it to re-sign several of their young players, such as Tre Jones and Julian Champagnie, to cheap multi-year deals.

Those contracts could begin to look great next season, but the team has failed to address their biggest roster issue: point guard. While they do have Jones, who is a serviceable starting point guard, and Devonte Graham, who is an underrated guard in his own right, neither of them moves the needle.

Nor does Blake Wesley, who, at 20, still has a long way to go before he becomes a good rotation player. As a result, they could scour the trade market for point guard help, and one potential low-cost option would be Killian Hayes of the Detroit Pistons, who is available.

Can the Spurs trade for Detroit’s Killian Hayes?

Although Hayes has looked at times as though he might be a bust, he played much better last season. Hayes is known as a skilled defender and passer, though he has struggled shooting from three, making him a tough fit in certain lineups.

With the Pistons having drafted Ausar Thompson, there is little playing time in their perimeter rotation for Hayes, with Jaden Ivey, Thompson, and Cade Cunningham all set to play big minutes.

That leaves Hayes as the odd man out, and although he has a lot of potential, he isn’t likely to fetch a first-round pick for the Pistons. Instead, with second-round picks becoming increasingly valuable, they could seek a couple of them in return for their former lottery pick. Fortunately, the Spurs have been hoarding picks and have plenty to spare. They can even afford to absorb Hayes’ contract, keeping Detroit from having to take a player back in return.

On the Spurs, Hayes could carve out a role with the team’s second unit. Playing alongside the likes of Devonte Graham, Malaki Branham, Doug McDermott, and Jeremy Sohan, there should be more than enough shooting to offset his lack of an outside shot. That would make him less of a negative player and allow for his playmaking and defense to shine.

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Ultimately, taking a flyer on Hayes could prove to be the perfect low-risk, high-reward move that the Spurs have become synonymous with. Moreover, with the Pistons likely to move on from him, getting multiple future assets could make a potential deal between the two teams more likely.