The Detroit Pistons signed general manager Troy Weaver to a contract extension over the summer, a source told the Free Press.
News of the agreement became public Wednesday. The source requested anonymity because they were unauthorized to speak publicly on the matter. The length of the extension is unknown.
Weaver became the franchise’s GM in June, 2020, signing a four-year contract.
The move signals a vote of confidence from ownership, which is led by Tom Gores.
Weaver has stockpiled young talent and swung aggressive trades in his quest to “restore” the Pistons, who haven’t won a playoff game since 2008, and currently own the NBA record for most postseason losses in a row at 14. They last made the playoffs in 2019.
Weaver has selected six players in the first round in his three drafts, making aggressive moves to grab extra picks and retool the bloated roster he inherited.
2020: Guard Killian Hayes (No. 7 overall), power forward/center Isaiah Stewart (No. 16 overall), forward Saddiq Bey (No. 19 overall).
2021: Guard Cade Cunningham (No. 1 overall).
2022: Guard Jaden Ivey (No. 5 overall), center Jalen Duren (No. 13 overall).
The Pistons (8-25) entered Wednesday night’s game in Philadelphia owners of the NBA’s worst record, despite Weaver exclaiming before the season his rebuild was entering the “competing stage,” after finishing last season third-worst in the league at 23-59. But the Pistons immediately started slow this season at 3-9, before Cunningham was sidelined with a shin injury that had been bothering him for a while. He eventually underwent surgery last week.
“I like the complement of players we have,” Weaver said at media day in late September. “A lot of young guys. We’ve got a lot of good veterans that will solidify things for us and keep us level. You go from the red to the black, and the only way to do that is to get level. I feel like we’re at level ground now. I’m calling it ground zero. Hopefully we can take a step forward.”
The team is set up with roster flexibility and cap space this summer, but has few enticing draft pick assets to deal due to the first-round pick protections on the Stewart trade at the 2020 draft. And the free agent crop has dried up with many top players signing extensions before the season.
The Pistons went 20-52 in Weaver’s first season in 2020-21, when COVID-19 forced a 72-game schedule, and are on pace to win just 20 games this season. Finishing in the bottom three would have a great benefit though: The Pistons would tie for the best odds (14%) to win the 2023 draft lottery this spring.
The Free Press’ “The Pistons Pulse” podcast, hosted by Omari Sankofa II and Bryce Simon, last week debated the team’s future, with Sankofa believing Weaver is targeting the summer to make a leap towards playoff contention. (You can listen to the podcast below or wherever you listen to podcasts.) But that will also be determined by where the Pistons end up in the lottery, with the stakes extremely high thanks to a generational prospect in French center Victor Wembanyama, as well as ubertalented guard Scoot Henderson.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania was first to report Wednesday’s news.