| Detroit Free Press
Detroit Pistons’ Troy Weaver on 2020 Draft: “Everything’s on the table.”
Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver addressed the media on Nov. 5, 2020 and said the Pistons could move up or down in the draft.
Two-hundred and eighty-six days.
That’s the amount of time that will pass between the Detroit Pistons’ final game of the 2019-20 season on March 11, and the start date of next season — which the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association reached an agreement upon Thursday.
The 2020-21 season will start on Dec. 22, per reports from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and The Athletic’s Shams Charania, ending a nine-and-a-half month hiatus for the Pistons. And the Pistons are eager to play, general manager Troy Weaver said on Thursday.
“Whenever they say we can play, I’m ready,” Weaver said. “We can play tomorrow, we can play Christmas, after, it doesn’t matter. I’m ready. We’ve been off for a while. We’re chomping at the bit as an organization to get back.”
The NBA draft is Nov. 18 and free agency is expected to start soon after, meaning the organization will now have a rapid-fire finish to 2020 following months of inaction.
With the NBA’s return comes an abbreviated schedule and various adjustments to accommodate for the league’s declining revenue stream due to COVID-19 pandemic-related challenges, such as not being able to safely have arenas packed with fans for the foreseeable future.
Teams will play a 72-game schedule, a 10-game reduction from the usual 82-game season. The NBA had to reduce the length of the season to account for lost time. Last season tipped off Oct. 22, a full two months earlier. The season is anticipated to end before the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, enabling NBA players to participate in it.
The league will now work to put next season’s schedule together, without the complication of having to plan around concerts and other sporting events. Per Charania, the schedule will also involve three-to-four preseason games, a 25% reduction in travel and a six-day All Star break in early March.
The NBA’s new parameters for next season shouldn’t negatively impact the Pistons. After losing more than a billion dollars in revenue last season, the league will keep last season’s cap figure of $109 million, according to Charania. That means the Pistons should have around $30 million in cap space — enough to be a major player in free agency and the trade market.
The Pistons also have the seventh overall pick in the draft. But it could be an extended period of time before Pistons fans will be able to watch the new draft pick in person.
Training camp will begin on Dec. 1, giving the Pistons less than a month to prepare.
After finishing last season 20-46 overall, the 2020-21 season will be a “retooling” season for Detroit. Blake Griffin and Luke Kennard, who missed significant time last season with injuries, are expected to be healthy. Head coach Dwane Casey expects continued improvement from his young players, including Sekou Doumbouya, Svi Mykhailiuk and Bruce Brown.