DBB on 3: Finally, Troy Weaver is gone

Detroit Bad Boys

After four, miserable years at the helm, Troy Weaver is gone. The former Detroit Pistons GM was dismissed by new President of Basketball Operations Trajan Langdon on Friday, kicking off what promises to be a slew of changes in the Pistons dumpster fire of a front office. The crew rejoiced and reacted to the news that Weaver was (finally) out.

1. What were your emotions upon hearing of Weaver’s dismissal?

Lazarus Jackson: A sense of finality. It’s what I expected, it’s seemingly what all Pistons fans expected basically as soon as the Wizards loss to get the losing streak REALLY going. There was seemingly no way for Troy to survive a President of Basketball Ops hire, and the reported out-of-office scouting position he was offered had to be a non-starter for him. But it’s over. Like I said on Twitter, guys who win fewer than 80 games in four seasons GENERALLY get fired. So the announcement was just a confirmation.

Ben Gulker: Like after a toxic relationship ends but only after it’s hurt everyone involved and alienated everyone in its orbit. Not happy, exactly, but relieved and ready to enjoy my favorite basketball team again.The past two seasons of Pistons basketball have been catastrophic. Twenty-eight consecutive losses. We witnessed that. I watched every single one of those games. Weaver *had* to go. The relationship had to end. Now, we all move on.

Brady Fredericksen: I was driving to pick my daughter up from daycare when I heard the news on the radio. I clapped in my car alone for nearly a full a red light. It was cathartic.

Justin Lambregetse: I am so happy. I have no issues with Troy Weaver as a person, but somebody this bad at their job shouldn’t keep it for as long as he did. The only positive thing he did was giving us Cade Cunningham, which anybody could have done with the #1 pick.

Wes Davenport: Feel bad for Weaver. Never a good thing to see a man lose his job due to his own mistakes. But… yeah it’s hard to have much emotional reaction beyond apathy. This even a blind squirrel would consistently find that nut.

Kyle Metz: Sad acceptance that everything we had hoped didn’t get realized and that everything we endured as fans actually happened. I really wanted Troy to succeed. I loved his one-liners. I loved the blatant disrespect of other franchises who he claimed “couldn’t restore” because they don’t have the history the Pistons do. But now I have to accept that it all amounted to a slightly less bare cupboard for the next guy to stock.

Austen Flores: Mostly relieved, in the fact that there’s a new direction with a front office that didn’t turn a page during his tenure. A new direction may not always be a beam of light (as we just lived through) but the infrastructure is at least here to build off of with cap space and some talented young pieces. I guess we’ll always remember the year stretch in which most of us thought “In Troy we trust”, but it was short lived.

2. One word to describe his tenure in Detroit is _________.

Lazarus Jackson: Stubborn.

Ben Gulker: Collapse.

Brady Fredericksen: Disjointed.

Justin Lambregetse: Nightmare.

Wes Davenport: Shame.

Kyle Metz: Unfortunate.

Austen Flores: Underwhelmed.

3. After so much early excitement, what went so horribly wrong for Weaver?

Lazarus Jackson: A steadfast refusal to do the little things. We don’t need to sin-eat for future draft picks, I’m such a good talent evaluator that I can get the best players with only the draft picks we have. We don’t need to flip Bojan Bogdanovic, I signed him to this creative deal and he’ll hold his value across the league for the entirety of the deal. We don’t need to have a team that makes sense around Cade, he’s so good he can elevate all the other 22 year olds on our roster. Our G-League team isn’t a big deal, I don’t need to hunt for talent there.

There’s also Sean Corp’s excellent thread on Troy’s mentality on Twitter.

Ben Gulker: First, the stunning inability to build anything around Cade Cunningham’s strengths and weaknesses. The lack of space and shooting, stubborn commitment to two-big lineups that can’t stretch the floor and make up for that defensively, no secondary ball handler, and on and on. Second and related, waiting too long to start building. For me, the tipping point may be the 22-23 trade deadline, for others, maybe punting on the 2023 offseason. Drafting and trading for young but unrealized potential 4 years in a row without mixing reliable veterans in the mix gets you, well, here. Orlando, Houston, and Detroit will be interesting studies in roster building a decade from now.

Brady Fredericksen: His scouting acumen, while flawed, was the only move he had. He wasn’t a slick negotiator, nor was he someone who could make moves strategically. Everything Troy did was in the moment. There was no next move. If guys like Brad Stevens and Sam Presti play three-dimensional chess, Weaver plays tic-tac-toe. That’s why so often we’d see the Pistons actually make a move and it wouldn’t seem all that bad… until the next move either negated it or made the roster make even less sense.

Justin Lambregetse: All the moves around the margins is what killed him. I was fine with a 3-4 year rebuild if he was hitting on picks and making deals around the margins for players that complemented the core/gave us future assets. He did none of that. There was no gradual improvement, he held onto the few assets the team had for too long, failed to build a cohesive roster, and ultimately lost a large majority of the deals he made.

Wes Davenport: Vision. His drafts weren’t terrible, they weren’t amazing, but they weren’t terrible. All of Ivey, Duren, Ausar, Sasser, Stewart, and Bey could become very solid to very good NBA players. Even Livers still has a chance. The problem was why he drafted who he did and who he brought in to support those guys. Never did Weaver draft a player with Cade Cunningham in mind. Only once did Weaver add a player to specifically help Cade Cunningham (Marvin Bagley when they had no lob threat). I cannot think of another example where a team has done less for their #1 overall pick than what has happened in Detroit the past 3 years (save for that #1 pick being awful – hello Anthony Bennett). There was no plan. There was no vision for what this team would be with Cade at the center of it. Just an unfortunate waste of 3 seasons of development for Cade, and 2 for Ivey and Duren, and 1 for Ausar and Sasser.

Kyle Metz: He never consistently delivered on the things that made him standout (talent evaluation & scouting) and showed little to know improvement in the necessary areas of growth (creating value on the margins, assessing market value for players, team building philosophy).

Austen Flores: Weaver was brought in mostly for his premier talent evaluation acumen but fumbled the first draft, bringing in 3 players in the first round in which only one (Stewart) is still on the roster. There’s plenty of talent he drafted but the pieces don’t fit well right now. On top of that, the Pistons had some of the most cap space in the league for a few offseasons now but continued to kick the can down the road in acquiring established talent, leading to a 14-win season. Weaver may have had a longer plan, but in this league, people get restless quick – and he simply didn’t do enough to justify a longer tenure with the team.

As always, let us know your thoughts in the comments!

1. What were your emotions upon hearing of Weaver’s dismissal?

2. One word to describe his tenure in Detroit is _________.

3. After so much early excitement, what went so horribly wrong for Weaver?

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