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November 18, 2020

Killian Hayes

Bristol, Connecticut, USA

Q. Killian, congratulations. A lot is made of the European experience for draft prospects. What was that like for you, and how did that equip you as a pro when you're entering the NBA?

KILLIAN HAYES: It's definitely hard coming in at 15, 16 years old, playing against grown men, but I learned a lot from it. Even this season when I started the season slow, but Jaka really trusted me, and we put in a lot of work to be on the court or watching tape. It really paid off. During the season we got better and better and better. Now I understand how to play the game of basketball and how to make the right plays.

Q. Welcome to Detroit.

KILLIAN HAYES: I feel great, man. Thank you.

Q. I know Will Bynum worked out with you. Just you coming to Detroit knowing he was a former Pistons player, did he tell you anything about the franchise? What was your impressions of the franchise?

KILLIAN HAYES: Just playing hard. The city loves hard workers. Bring it all the time, 100 percent on the floor. Dive for balls, could be anything. Just give it your all right there.

Q. They obviously brought in Troy Weaver. You guys got all these first-round draft picks coming in as well. How do you feel as far as starting a new culture in Detroit?

KILLIAN HAYES: I'm excited for it. I had a lot of talks with Coach [Dwane] Casey and Troy. I'm ready. I can't wait for it. I can't wait to get back on the court, meet everybody, and start getting to work.

Q. Killian, congrats on being drafted by the Pistons tonight. I know a big excitement for you is playing with Sekou [Doumbouya]. Have you and Sekou exchanged any messages? What's it like having a friend on the team.

KILLIAN HAYES: Yeah, as soon as I got drafted, Sekou sent me the eyes emoji, that's looking away. I told him in French j'arrive, which means I'm coming. I see Detroit is making a lot of trades. I hope he stays in Detroit and everything goes well.

Q. Hi, Killian, congratulations. How does it feel to be the top European pick of this draft? Deni Avdija was predicted to be the top European for the draft, and now you are. How does it feel?

KILLIAN HAYES: It's a cool title to hold, but it's not something I was aiming for. I'm just trying to be in a great situation where I'm able to play and show what I can do.

Q. Welcome to Detroit, man. How much communication did you have with the Pistons? I know you worked out for them, but were you confident, if you were there at 7, that you were going to be the pick for them?

KILLIAN HAYES: I was pretty confident. Like everybody knows, nothing is guaranteed. There was no like 100 percent sure I was going to go to Detroit, but I had a good feeling about it from the meeting that we had, the talk that we had. Detroit was the team I wanted to go to.

Q. I just wanted to know how you feel about playing alongside Derrick Rose, a guy like that, if you can learn from him.

KILLIAN HAYES: I can definitely learn from him. I remember when I was like 10, 11, watching D. Rose highlights. I can really learn a lot from him about the game. He played in the league for a long time now, so he knows the game and how it goes down in the NBA. So I'm definitely excited to play with him and learn from him.

Q. Hello, Killian. Congrats. First of all, how hungry you are about next season? How big is the motivation for you to play with the Detroit Pistons? Also, you feel ready to set some pick-and-rolls with Blake Griffin?

KILLIAN HAYES: Yeah, man, I'm super excited. I can't wait for the season to start. I've been working out for eight straight months, and now I'm just waiting to get back on the court and just show what I can do. First of all, I'm trying to prove to my teammates and my coaches that they can really trust me. I'm going to give it my all out on the floor. And when it comes to game time, we've got to bring out the best in everybody so we can win that game.

Playing with Blake, yeah, obviously, Blake is one of the great players in the NBA. Yeah, off the pick-and-roll, he can do multiple things. He's got great hands. He can shoot the ball. He can catch lobs. So I'm really excited to play with Blake.

Q. Just want to get your thoughts on just joining a team that's in such flux right now. You mentioned some of the trades that are being made, but you can't really look at the roster and say this guy is going to be there or that guy is not going to be there. Just joining that and you being a foundational piece of that.

KILLIAN HAYES: I mean, we're building a whole new team. I want to call to Troy and Coach Casey to talk more about the team. For now I just want to enjoy the moment, and when it's time to go to Detroit, let's get to work. We've got to build a team and make sure we're ready to win games.

Q. Killian, walk me through the emotions of when Adam Silver comes to the podium and says your name, the emotions, the thoughts running through your head.

KILLIAN HAYES: That was just really -- it's a big relief because in my head I kind of knew it was Detroit, but nothing was guaranteed. When I heard my name with Detroit, I was really happy. You could see the reaction of my mom and dad just jumping around. A lot of excitement. I felt super proud of myself.

Q. Killian, welcome to Detroit. What would you say is the best part of your game and maybe the part of your game that you need to work on the most?

KILLIAN HAYES: The best part is definitely play-making. Just making plays for others or making plays for myself. I love dishing out the ball for easy assists. I love playing fast in transition. I just like to make plays.

The part that I need to work on is everything, honestly. I know I have a lot of things to learn about the game. I played overseas most of my life, so coming in, I know I need to watch a lot of tape, talk with all my teammates about how the game is played. So just adjusting to the NBA style of basketball.

Q. And do you feel some criticism that says you're too much with your left hand, can't go to the right, do you think that's fair, or is that something you just have to work on?

KILLIAN HAYES: That was eight months ago. I've been working a lot since then. Right now my right hand is not an issue. I wouldn't say it's as good as my left, but I can go right at will now. So I can pass with my right with accuracy, and it's not a problem anymore.

Q. Killian, congratulations, and good luck in the NBA. I have one good question for you here: I want to know, obviously being a fan of the NBA and now you're going to be playing in the NBA, is there one particular matchup you're going to be excited to like go against a certain player or a player that you may have watched on TV or looked at and studies their game?

KILLIAN HAYES: I'm excited to play against everybody, especially all the great guards. Curry, Harden, Dame Lillard, Siakam, and all of those guys. D. Rose, he's one of the great point guards, and he's been in the league for a long time. So I'm excited to learn from him and also compete against him at practice.

Q. Hi, Killian. I was just curious what you knew about the history of the team and the city and what you're looking forward to when you get here.

KILLIAN HAYES: I mean, everybody knows about the Bad Boys. In '04 they won the championship. Will, I trained with Will all last summer, and he came down to Orlando like a month ago. So we talked a lot about Detroit. Yeah, he said it's a hard-working city. So if I get drafted there, just make sure I bring my all every game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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