The next moves are crucial ones for the struggling Detroit Pistons and general manager Troy Weaver.
The “Restore”, which the Pistons have dubbed their current rebuild attempt under weaver, has gone from promising to confusing. Fan sentiment has gone from “trust in Troy” to many wanting him gone even if it further delays the return of competitive basketball to Detroit.
Weaver’s first moves included drafting Killian Hayes, Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart along with trading for Jerami Grant. In hindsight a clear mixed bag of results further compounded by trading away Bey and Grant. Especially seeing the Pistons have a sore need for the positions they play.
But Weaver had a string of promising drafts after that including the selections of Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren. It gave hope to the rebuild and that things were looking bright for the franchise that’s been down bad for nearly 15 years.
To make one thing very clear, Cade Cunningham was the correct pick and an absolutely great leader. But the inability to surround him with the right veteran talent has stalled the restore and shuddered fans who entered the season with belief in what they were being sold.
The foundation that once seemed solid, is sinking lower than where things started. And there’s a lot of blame to go around from ownership, to the front office, coaching and the players. But the main person of interest is Troy Weaver, who is tasked with righting the ship.
When looking at the Detroit Lions path to current success it took a unified effort from ownership, to front office, coaching and the players buying in. With the Pistons there’s a desire to win from top to bottom, but there’s a clear disconnect in how that is achieved.
There’s been rumors of a power struggle in the front office over draft picks, free agents and even the pick of head coach. It’s not secret that Pistons owner Tom Gores was the driving force behind hiring Monty Williams.
In a normal world that wouldn’t be a problem, but with the direction Weaver was taking the team it might have been better to allow him to select the head coach. It’s been four seasons now and Weaver hasn’t been given the opportunity to select his own coach yet. And that might be one of the bigger reasons the product on the floor has looked so poor.
The fit, the schemes and the lack of veterans have all been a work in progress for coach Williams. Which is something he’s talked about since training camp started. It’s no secret that he desires to have a few more veterans to mix in with the young core.
Alec Burks, Bojan Bogdanovic and Monte Morris were all attempts by Weaver to add what he believed was good veteran talent. They were supposed to be the incremental moves to help the Pistons to be more competitive on a nightly basis. But injuries, lack of defense and Father Time in relation to the vets has taken more than it’s given to the team. And this is a problem laid directly at the feet of Troy Weaver, which has been the undoing of the good young core he drafted.
The plan and rhetoric from Weaver, the players and coach Williams was for this team to be ready to compete every game. Whether that meant playoffs or not, it sure meant a lot better than what’s been seen from the team.
Looking at it all, conventional wisdom would say Weaver hasn’t earned the opportunity to make the next moves.
The confidence fans once had in what the restore could’ve been is all but gone. And if observers had their way, Weaver would be too.
Although the moves haven’t panned out for Troy Weaver on the court, the organization has given a vote of confidence. And this, to this dismay of many fans hoping for different. But the points in Weaver’s favor include the young core as well as cap space and flexibility. Where this works against him is how he’s utilized those benefits to this point.
This past offseason presented an opportunity to improve this team, but the organization pivoted. Armed with cap space they chose to defer it until sometime between the trade deadline and next free agency. A strategy that is proving to have failed the current team.
Instead of making signings like the Houston Rockets to properly compliment the young core, they chose one year rentals. The Rockets brought in Fred Van Vleet and Dillon Brooks which did affect playing time of young their young core, but increased wins and competitiveness. The Pistons punted their cap space by trading for little used Joe Harris and Monte Morris, who has yet to play this season. In a perfect world Bogdanovic and Morris never get hurt and Harris returns to his sharp shooting days of past. But it’s the real world and the moves have not only failed, but backfired in grand fashion.
Troy’s Last Chance?
This is Troy Weavers last opportunity to put things right and restore the confidence of supporters. And many of them believe he shouldn’t get the chance based on the the current debacle.
I do believe all roads were always leading to this season and the next free agency being the most pivotal for Weaver. And wether the organization sees it that way or not, things need to change if he strikes out again. The historic losing and hearing the same quotes night after night, something needs to be done sooner rather than later. Before deciding if Weaver should GM this free agency, his litmus test should what he does by the trade deadline.
The ability to find the hidden gems and make the right deals will speak volumes, just like his previous ones.
What do you think?
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