Sometimes when people say that something is the “greatest,” they tend to get beside themselves. They can be a prisoner of the moment. You know, maybe a little “extra,” as it’s called. That statement doesn’t apply to the Detroit Pistons. Tuesday night was the cherry on the sundae of the greatest tanking job in NBA History. And some big faith by Troy Weaver is to thank for that.
His restoration plans for the Pistons results in the team landing their first No. 1 overall draft pick in 51 years.
Read that again.
The Pistons finally won the draft lottery.
The Basketball Gods did not give them another swift kick in the pants.
Before Tuesday night’s draft lottery, Detroit Pistons fans were preparing for an emotional rollercoaster, similar to the Vivian Green song. After all, similar to the lyrics, loving the Detroit Pistons “ain’t been nothing healthy.”
At least regarding their draft history.
Since the 2003 debacle when Joe Dumars drafted the “human victory cigar” over Melo, D.Wade, and Bosh, the basketball Gods have not been kind to the Pistons. Not only did Darko Miličić wind up being an absolute bust, but the blunder was the preface to nearly two decades of questionable draft picks by the Pistons.
Then last June happened.
The dark cloud over the franchise turned into a bright a** sun. And in walked Troy Weaver on June 18th as the new GM of the Detroit Pistons.
It’s still early, but let’s give Troy Weaver half a dozen roses to start.
Kanye West said, “if you admire someone, you should go ahead and tell them; people never get the roses while they can still smell em.”
It’s time to give Troy Weaver his flowers.
The way Weaver assembled this roster through last year’s draft, free agency, and mid-season trades allowed the Pistons to do something that teams can only dream of regarding tanking.
They were able to tank while still being competitive, play a distinctive brand of basketball, and put their young core in a position to grow their game.
And on top of it, while tanking, they were able to have two rookies in Saddiq Bey, and Isaiah Stewart lands themselves on the NBA’s All-Rookie first and second teams.
Heck, even Killian Hayes, who had a rough start this season, played a good brand of basketball in the second half of the season.
After returning from a torn hip labrum (and no Derrick Rose in sight), Hayes showcased flashes of why Weaver selected him with the No. 7 overall pick last Fall. Even Saben Lee, the Pistons 38th overall pick, provided quality minutes last year.
Weaver, so far, is crushing it. And now all attention turns to the upcoming draft?
Is Cade Cunningham a sure thing?
“Fade for Cade” was a thing in and out of Detroit, MI. The 6’8 standout point guard from Oklahoma State is a hot commodity, one that many teams in the top four would love a chance to draft.
And judging by Weaver’s comments, there’s a possibility that could happen. While all signs point to the Pistons drafting Cade Cunningham, Weaver said about four or five players in the draft would make great Detroit Pistons.
They’re now in a position to draft the best one.
In my opinion, Cunningham is a clear choice with the No.1 overall selection. There is no reason to be the smartest person in the room. However, the Pistons shouldn’t sleep on Jalen Green either. Just like Cunningham, Green is a dynamic talent that can immediately help the Pistons thrive. If the Pistons are higher on Green than Cunningham, trading back a spot and acquiring capital or more picks could be an option.
The possibilities are endless. The Pistons could trade the No. 1 overall pick as well.
No one knows.
One thing is for sure, though. The restoration of the Detroit Pistons is in full swing, thanks to Troy Weaver.
Follow Kory Woods on Twitter at KoryEWoods.