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Pistons GM Weaver prefers person before player

Now that the 2020-2021 season is over for the Detroit Pistons, Troy Weaver moves his focus to the 2021 NBA Draft. The team finished with an abysmal 20-52 record, so the Pistons have a high chance of landing a top five selection. Troy Weaver has been an expert at finding talent in the draft. Dating back to his days as an assistant general manager for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Successful draft history

Weaver was responsible for convincing Sam Presti to select Russell Westbrook. Which was a surprise at the pick he was drafted. But it wasn’t a surprise to Weaver, who’s philosophy has always been drafting the person before the player.

“My philosophy is, we don’t draft players, we draft people — get the person right,” he told reporters. “More times than not, high picks that don’t pan out, you miss on the person. Get the person right, the basketball takes care of itself. Someone that is committed to working, fierce competitor, and that the community can be proud of, on and off the floor.”

Dec 11, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver looks on before the game against the New York Knicks at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Troy Weaver was also responsible for drafting stars like James Harden, Serge Ibaka and Eric Bledsoe. With possible players available like Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Jalen Suggs, and Evan Mobley this draft should be interesting for the Detroit Pistons. Weaver also had times where his picks didn’t work out as expected. That being mostly when the Oklahoma City Thunder were good and selecting late in the draft and had to find role players. It seems the earlier he selects in draft, the more successful player he finds.

Weaver has a specific mold for players he looks for before bringing that person into any organization. The main traits are being fierce competitors, having a mature mindset and usually more athletic and versatile so players can switch on defense. Examples of players that fit that mold are Josh Jackson, who he signed last off-season. Other young players that fit the mold are Killian Hayes, Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart.

Players love him as a mentor

Troy Weaver worked as an assistant coach at Syracuse University under Jim Boeheim from 2000-2004 and was important in helping the school recruit Carmelo Anthony. Boeheim also stated in an interview that if Weaver didn’t leave the university for the NBA, Kevin Durant would have likely committed. No matter where Weaver is working, players love being around him.

Weaver has always had an eye for talent. Which inspired him to chase his dreams to become an NBA general manager. And now with the Detroit Pistons he has a chance to turnaround an organization who hasn’t had success since 2004.

As the 2021 NBA Draft approaches, Pistons fans everywhere should be ecstatic for what’s next.

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