Ranking Detroit Pistons GM Troy Weaver’s top moves as NBA trade deadline nears

Detroit Free Press

Call him Trader Troy. Since taking over the Detroit Pistons in the summer of 2020, general manager Troy Weaver has completely remade Detroit’s roster. A flurry of trades took place during his first year, and he hasn’t stopped dealing.

Thursday at 3 p.m. marks this year’s NBA trade deadline, and the Pistons might have made another move by the time you read this. Jerami Grant could headline one of the NBA’s biggest trades this season, and Detroit has several other players who could be tradedIn honor of the deadline, here are Weaver’s top-three trades thus far:

WHAT IF? These 3 deals give an idea of what Pistons may get in Jerami Grant trade

3. One center begets another

The deal: Pistons trade Christian Wood, a 2021 second-round pick and a protected first-round pick to Houston Rockets for Isaiah Stewart, Trevor Ariza and a 2027 second-round pick on Nov. 24, 2020.

The buzz: Stewart has been Detroit’s starting center since the end of the 2020-21 season, and has showcased why he was high on the Pistons’ draft board in 2020. He’s one of the highest-motor players in the NBA, and one who can screen, rebound and protect the rim. Stewart’s ability to switch on defense and his developing outside shot tease his potential as a perimeter big man.

MORE FROM SANKOFA: How Pistons are helping Isaiah Stewart reach his potential as a perimeter threat

Fifteen months later, this trade is still an upside play for the Pistons. Wood is averaging 17.7 points and 10.3 rebounds per game for Houston while shooting 37.4% from 3. Stewart’s lack of size and leaping ability has negatively impacted his efficiency at the rim, and he’s still a reluctant and inefficient shooter form behind-the-arc (though his midrange shooting is more accurate). While Stewart is the superior defender, there’s a significant gap on offense. Detroit also still owes a first-round pick to Houston, but was able to extract additional value out of the move by trading Ariza in a deal that brought back Delon Wright, who was later traded for Cory Joseph, a 2021 second-round pick that became Luka Garza and a 2024 second-rounder.

2. How do you Hamidou?

The deal: Pistons trade Svi Mykhailiuk and 2027 second-round pick to Oklahoma City Thunder for Hamidou Diallo on March 13, 2021.

The buzz: This trade is a pure win for the Pistons. Mykhailiuk shot 40.4% from 3 with the Pistons in 2019-20, but had slumped to 33.3% at the time of last season’s trade. He is shooting a career-low 31% from 3 with the Thunder this season. Diallo has started a career-high 28 games this season and is averaging 11 points on a career-high 49.6% shooting. He has established himself as one of Detroit’s most reliable players. The 2027 second-round pick was a small price to pay.

1. Bey area!

The deal: Pistons trade Luke Kennard, Bruce Brown, Justin Patton and four second-round picks, acquire Saddiq Bey and Rodney McGruder in three-team deal with Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers on Nov. 19, 2020.

The buzz: For brevity, we reduced the various parts of this trade to the most essential ones. Like Stewart, the Pistons paid a non-insignificant price to acquire an additional player in the 2020 draft. But Bey has been the best of the four players Detroit selected that year, making All-Rookie first team last season and showing this season that his future role might be that of a floor-spacing wing who can also move the ball and create his own shot.

MORE FROM SANKOFA: How Saddiq Bey uses the free-throw line to power sophomore surge

Kennard and Brown have been valuable role players in Los Angeles and Brooklyn, respectively, but Bey likely has the highest ceiling of the aforementioned players. The Pistons have since recouped their second-rounders in other deals, and McGruder has also been a valuable veteran mentor who’s also shooting 39.3% from beyond the 3-point line this year.

Contact Omari Sankofa II at osankofa@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa. Read more on the Detroit Pistons and sign up for our Pistons newsletter.

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