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Killian Hayes leaves Tuesday’s game vs. Warriors due to sprained ankle

Pistons rookie was the second player to go down for Detroit against Golden State.

Killian Hayes of the Detroit Pistons handles the ball against the Atlanta Hawks on December 28, 2020 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

Detroit Pistons rookie guard Killian Hayes suffered a sprained ankle in Tuesday’s game vs. the Golden State Warriors and did not return for the second half. Hayes, who was a lottery pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, had been starting for the Pistons early on in the season. Hayes had no points in 17 minutes prior to leaving.

We won’t know more about the severity of the injury until Hayes gets an MRI. The big thing this impacts is the NBA Rookie of the Year race. Hayes entered the night +1600 to win ROTY. If the injury is long-term, that could hurt his chances of being a finalist for the award at the end of the season.

With Hayes sidelined, we should see plenty of Delon Wright and Derrick Rose the rest of Tuesday’s game and moving forward. The Pistons will probably try and be cautious with Hayes, so he could miss a game or two. Blake Griffin also left the game in concussion protocol and did not return. With both Hayes and Griffin out, that should benefit rookie wing Saddiq Bey. He started in place of Griffin for the second half and could also see more minutes with Hayes sidelined.