Casual fans might not have noticed but there are big things going on for the Detroit Pistons.
The Pistons have been one of the bottom feeders of the NBA for more than 10 years, stubbornly refusing to rebuild, instead trying to patch mortal wounds with band-aids and never really committing to any type of youth movement.
It didn’t take long for Weaver to put his stamp on the Detroit Pistons and he has has made a series of moves that have given Detroit a strong young core to build around and given fans hope for the first time in years.
It’s not just that the Detroit Pistons finally have some elite young talent, it’s that Weaver has shown that he has an eye for undervalued talent, which may be the most important quality for the GM of a team that is never going to draw the top free agents.
Weaver has hit home runs with move after move, which has been particularly impressive considering he was handed a hot mess of a team with no real assets or talent. How has he turned the fate of the Pistons around so quickly?
Let’s take a look.
Detroit Pistons: Troy Weavers moves in his first season
Here is a partial list of moves Weaver has made in his first season as Pistons’ GM:
-Signed Jerami Grant in the offseason. Grant has evolved from role player into one of the best wings in the game, and his ascension has been a big part of the Pistons’ growth. Grant is symbolic of Weaver’s ability to see past stats to what a guy can really be.
-He drafted Killian Hayes, Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart. If the draft were done again, these three would probably go in the top-ten. Bey is breaking records left and right. Hayes has looked smooth and confident since returning from injury and Beef Stew is the best center from his draft class so far.
-Weaver was able to trade veteran Derrick Rose for a flyer on Dennis Smith Jr. who has shown some flashes and was worth the moderate risk.
-He took a chance on veterans like Mason Plumlee, who is nearly averaging a double-double and Wayne Ellington, who has been one of the NBA’s top 3-point specialists. Both are solid veterans who play the game the right way and are excellent mentors to their young players.
-He took a flyer on Josh Jackson, who had lottery talent that had not yet been realized. Jackson has been a nice surprise and is a consistent shot away from being one of the best value contracts in the league, a guy who could end up being a late bloomer who thrives in Detroit.
-He found Saben Lee in the second round of the draft. Lee was forced into duty due to injuries and also looks like a talent who was undervalued and could be an impact player in the future.
-He shipped out dud Svi Mykhailiuk for Hamidou Diallo, a player with a much higher ceiling who better fits his vision for the team.
-He took a chance on Tyler Cook that is already paying dividends.
-He signed Frank Jackson to two-way contract, which has really been paying off lately, as he has evolved into a reliable bench scorer and 3-point shooter and looks like a guy who has played his way into a full-time deal. He has a little Jason Terry vibe and could be the Pistons’ go-to bench scorer of the future.
This is all in Troy Weaver’s first season and he did this while being tethered to Blake Griffin and his awful contract and not having any real assets to work with.
The Detroit Pistons now have four picks in the upcoming draft and Weaver hopes to add even more impact talent to one of the best young cores in the Eastern Conference.
The Pistons’ future is looking bright and it’s Troy Weaver’s eye for talent that has made it so.