The question is simple: do you trust Troy Weaver? Fans beginning to doubt his vision, has been one of the more surprising developments of the season. Complaints have ranged from displeasure with Dwane Casey’s employment, to the team still losing in his third year as general manager.
Once hopeful of competing every night, injuries, inexperience and bad defense have derailed the team from that goal.
But how much of the Detroit Pistons failures fall on Troy Weaver? The injury bug has been a constant issue among players of importance like Cade Cunningham, and Marvin Bagley. They won 23 or fewer games his first two seasons, and currently on pace for his lowest win total yet. And the first draft class under Weaver is no longer instilling confidence it once had.
The buck ultimately stops with Weaver as the architect, but is the restoration finished to be judged? And how much longer before observers should expect to see a return on hopeful investment? For Troy Weaver it’s only been three years of rebuilding, but supporters have waited a long time for a winner. So it’s understandable fans are starting to wonder about the current attempt.
But there are reasons to still be optimistic based on what Troy Weaver has already proven:
Under previous regimes this would be a time to worry and probably good reason why observers are feeling uneasy. But Troy Weaver has shown the ability to minimize mistakes without mortgaging the future. This would have been helpful when they signed Josh Smith and then paid him over $20 million a year to not play. Despite over $11 million in ‘dead money’ currently on the cap sheet, it was by design. Those deals helped facilitate transactions that provided a better outlook, and the dead money will be under $3 million after this season. This also lends support to the idea Weaver’s vision for this team to win starts over the next few seasons. Everything else to this point has been in support of that.
Would past regimes move a lottery pick like Killian Hayes by year two, or Saddiq Bey by his third? Would they trust a player like Jalen Duren this early in his career?
Troy Weaver Knows The Personnel
Andre Drummond was paid like a number one option for a championship contending team. Many observers believed this to be the wrong choice, but clearly the Pistons thought different. Overvaluing or holding on to talent despite the writing on the wall, has been a reoccurring theme of this organization for decades.
Like he was shot out of a cannon Weaver wasted no time trading away what many thought were pieces for the future. Luke Kennard and Bruce Brown haven’t achieved that status for their new teams, and the clippers may be moving on from Kennard. Many fans were upset at the time, but have to look back now understanding it was best for the team. By my estimation, Troy Weaver hasn’t lost a trade yet.
And then there’s the fact he doesn’t make a deal just because he feels he pressure too. We’ve seen past GM’s make decision they weren’t completely sure of like with Darko Milicic and Andre Drummond. But Weaver has vowed to not be sped up, or slowed down in this rebuild. And has a reputation for being a GM on the scene, not just relying on reports or assistants.
“Belief is the first step of success. Jerami and I had a great connection since he was a teenager. He believed in me and I believed in him. What he’s doing, to the rest of the world may be a surprise but not to me,” Weaver said. “I expect him to continue to progress and get better as well. I’m excited that he took a chance on himself and he took a chance on the Pistons. I’m not surprised at all, to be honest.”
Troy Weaver: What Detroit Tax?
Upon completion of the sign and trade deal that brought Jerami Grant to Detroit, many were shocked at the contract. A whopping $20 million a year, which today seems like a steal for the two-way Portland Trailblazer wing. Weaver followed that up by acquiring Bojan Bogdanovic and quickly re-signing him to a team friendly $20 million a year. These are players generally thought to be outside of the Pistons scope unless they ponied up he big bucks.
And when many believed the Jerami Grant trade to be an overpay, Weaver was able to trade him for a haul. Jalen Duren and Alec Burks for Jerami Grant seems like a steal, and exactly the price tag or tax Weaver required for Grant. Is he not just canceling the Detroit tax, but reversing it?
With over $55 million in cap space this coming off-season, prior signings should comfort any doubting Troy Weaver.
The Pistons play the San Antonio Spurs, Wednesday, February 10 at 7:00 PM.
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