What path will the new French basketball star Killian Hayes follow? At 19, the player trained in Cholet has just ticked a first box. The NBA franchise of the Detroit Pistons has just enlisted the French phenomenon of the prosecution during the draft. A system that has existed for 74 years and allows 30 American teams to recruit young talent. A real bet on the future for formations which are reinforced in this way with new blood and can sometimes hit the jackpot.
In the case of Killian Hayes, it is first and foremost the level of recruitment that is of concern. Never had a tricolor been drafted so high. Chosen in 7th position by the Pistons, he joined another Frenchie in Michigan, Sekou Doumbouya. Previously, the French record belonged to Frank Ntilikina, 8th pick in 2017 for the New York Knicks. But records are meant to be erased. “It was an unforgettable moment, a truly unique feeling. We talked about it with Frank and it’s good that a Frenchman is even higher, ”rejoices the sensation Hayes who will start the season with the Pistons on December 22.
It was remotely from the family home in Orlando, Florida that the point guard (1.96 m) learned the good news, far from the usual circus of a Draft organized by videoconference because of health restrictions. “I had a good feeling,” the young man smiles behind his glasses. In my head, I knew more or less that it was going to be Detroit, it’s the team I wanted to go to but you never know. When I heard my name, I was super happy. I felt a lot of excitement, pride. I can’t wait to get out there and show what I’m capable of. “
Parker, Gobert and Fournier chosen far from the summits
Born of an American father and a French mother, benefiting from the double culture, Killian Hayes left for a successful career. French basketball has found its new Tony Parker, that’s for sure… Stop, it’s not that simple! Being drafted very high does not give the assurance of a huge NBA career. “It’s a performance to be seventh,” said Jacques Monclar, the voice of the NBA on beIN Sports. It all depends on the year you arrive: the 2020 Draft is not the greatest in history. In the NBA, the most important thing is always to be in the right place, at the right time, with the right person. “
And history teaches to be careful. In 2001 Parker was selected in 28th position. We know the career of the quadruple NBA champion. “There are common points but there will be no other Parker,” warns Monclar. Rudy Gobert? Chosen 27th in 2013. The cases of Evan Fournier (20th) or Nicolas Batum (25th) show that final success is not indexed to a successful draft. As for the current star of the NBA, the Greek Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks had chosen her only in 15th position. “It doesn’t mean anything,” Monclar repeats. Killian wanted to play for Detroit, that’s good because we don’t choose. Now it’s up to him to write his story. “
In the meantime, the former Choletais has already won the jackpot. He’s going to sign a golden contract. According to the Michigan daily “The Detroit News“, Hayes, who has signed up for 4 years, will earn $ 24.1 million (20.3 million euros) including $ 10.9 million (9.2 million euros). ‘euros) insured over the next two years, regardless of his performance on the floor. And this is the first big advantage of being chosen 7th in the NBA Draft.