If there’s anything that is apparent about Pistons General Manager Troy Weaver, it’s that he is a calculated human being. He is thorough not only in what he says, but in what moves he makes. Weaver is the living embodiment of “leave no stones unturned” and “believe in the process”. In fact, if reports are to be believed, Troy didn’t come to the decision that Cade Cunningham was the first pick last year until the morning of the draft. And the reason why was because he was in no rush to make any decision. He was going to make the call when he knew it was right. So following an offseason where the Pistons had the most cap room they’ve had in years, and some flashy young talent, it’s not surprising Troy’s move was, yet again, patience.
Perhaps Troy Weaver’s deliberate nature is the signature recipe of his success. Even if it hasn’t yet translated to wins, the progress is nonetheless staggering. Weaver inherited a roster that was old and expensive. And in just two seasons, has assembled one of the most promising young cores in the NBA. In addition, Weaver has given the Pistons financial flexibility. And instead of going for big name free agents, acquired veterans Nerlens Noel and Alec Burks who can play now, but also have contracts Detroit can opt out of next year. It was a signal of that signature Troy Weaver trait: patience.
Troy Weaver waited until he got the guy he wanted
Over the course of this offseason, teams like the Minnesota Timberwolves and Atlanta Hawks paid steep prices to go get their guys. The New York Knicks gave up their first round pick and even dumped players and assets to sign Jalen Brunson in free agency. Troy Weaver, however, decided to be patient. The Sacramento Kings ultimately were the ones that would decide the fate of Detroit’s selection. And if there was anything apparent from the Sacramento camp, it was their openness to trade down from the fourth. However, another rumor from their camp was their reported liking of Keegan Murray.
Troy Weaver stuck to his guns and ultimately had a plan for whoever landed at the 5th spot on the board. And when the Kings took Keegan Murray at 4 and Jaden Ivey fell to the Pistons, that patience paid off. What appeared as the surprise of the draft to the general public, was one of the hundreds of scenarios that Weaver planned for. And it was his deliberation and the dedication to the process that lead to that moment. Even when other franchises were reportedly doing everything they could to trade for the rights to Jaden Ivey, Troy did not budge.
Weaver was aggressive, but was so at his own pace
Another piece of the puzzle in Detroit’s offseason was when will Troy Weaver trade Jerami Grant. In addition, where to and for how much. And when the Woj bomb revealed all Detroit got for Grant was a 2025 first round pick, fans were upset. In fact, a lot of people believed Weaver left better deals on the table. And in addition, it seemed that there was no plan for this 2025 draft pick from the Milwaukee Bucks. At the very least, not a plan that could be executed in the near future. That, however, was not the case.
Later in the draft, Weaver showcased he was not done. And for the second time in three years, Troy traded back up in the lottery for big man Jalen Duren. Even though reports suggested Detroit was going to pursue Deandre Ayton in Free Agency, it was revealed in the draft that Weaver’s true desire was the young big from Memphis. A big that was coached in college by former Pistons greats Rasheed Wallace and Larry Brown. Drafting Duren saved the Pistons millions in cap space. And in addition, fits the mold of Detroit’s culture.
Troy Weaver has plenty of options, and plenty of time
Going into the 2022-23 season, the Pistons will be more competitive on the basketball court. But in addition, Troy Weaver will have options and flexibility. Whether he wants to take on salary for more assets, trade for a star, or simply let his young guys play, there’s not a shortage of potential outcomes. However, what you can plan on, is that Weaver is not going to rush anything. Unlike a lot of general managers and front offices in the league, the Pistons have the luxury of a fruitful young core and a good sum of cap space and assets to spare going forward. When Detroit is ready to contend, Weaver can get aggressive like he has done already, and has shown in the past he is not afraid to do so.
In two seasons, Weaver has done as good of a job as any general manager in sports. He has been patient, consistent, deliberant, and calculated. He played with the cards he was dealt, and soon enough, will be contending in the eastern conference. It will happen in his due time. And it will happen with his players.