What to know about potential future Pistons GM Michael Blackstone

Detroit Bad Boys

The move we all expected finally arrived, if unofficially, as news broke that new Pistons president of basketball operations Trajan Langdon has decided to part ways with incumbent GM Troy Weaver, per the Athletic.

Weaver is dispatched just shy of four years since taking over a franchise that was sorely in need of a full rebuild when he arrived. The questions for Langdon are many, but the biggest is whether this rebuild needs a rebuild and who he will bring to execute his vision.

The latter might have already been answered as the same breaking news report that revealed Weaver was on his way out reported that Langdon is in serious talks with Michael Blackstone who, like Langdon, would be arriving from the New Orleans Pelicans.

Assuming Blackstone is that guy, what do we know about his tenure as an executive?

Blackstone has been with the New Orleans Pelicans since 2019, most recently as vice president of basketball administration. Prior to that, Blackstone spent time as assistant general manager of the Atlanta Hawks from 2015-16 and as executive director of basketball operations for the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2010-13.

Blackstone certainly falls on the business side of the equation and less so on the player evaluation side. That could be a very good things for a Pistons organization that has seemed to exclusively include NBA lifers in its highest executive ranks for … well, decades.

You had Joe Dumars, which begat a stint with Stan Van Gundy as both lead executive and coach. He hired Jeff Bower, also a former coach, as GM. Once Van Gundy was ousted, the Pistons leaned on Ed Stefanski to clean up the mess. Then Troy Weaver, a coach turned scout. turned assistant GM became a full GM in Detroit.

Blackstone, meanwhile, has a background in marketing, business strategy, trade execution, and contract negotiation.

He has a Master’s degree from the University of Baltimore. He also has some non-basketball jobs on his resume. He started an executive training firm in the late 90s and for the Shapiro Negotiations Institute as a VP of Marketing and a Master Facilitator. He rose to an executive VP at Shapiro with a focus on sports.

At Shapiro, he worked with professional teams an advisor focusing on player contracts, trade strategies, sales negotiations, and more.

Once his time with the Hawks ended, he became a partner at Performance Methods, Inc. another consulting firm, but not confined to the world of sports.

If you feel like Langdon, a former NBA player and fast-rising executive once his playing career ended, has a good sense of scouting and player evaluation acumen, it seems like Blackstone would be a worthy complement as a contract negotatior, trade strategy, and more.

That doesn’t mean his ascension to GM is for certain, but we will keep an eye out for an official announcement on who the next Troy Weaver will be.

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