Troy Weaver would never say the word. In fact, sometimes he seemed to go out of his way to avoid saying the dreaded R word. But I will. Rebuild.
As in, the Detroit Pistons are in full rebuild mode. Weaver might not say it outright, but actions speak louder than words and Weaver’s actions in the 2020 NBA Draft made it clear the new general manager of the Detroit Pistons didn’t see much worth saving on the roster he inherited.
This is an almost complete teardown. He put fire to the remaining timber of a roster left in Detroit and will be busy remaking it in his own image.
Entering the night with just one pick at No. 7 overall, he ended the night trading for two additional first-round picks and a second-round selection.
Weaver made it plain in his conversation with reporters after the game. “We wanted to attack the draft; we’re going to attack free agency — we’re going to attack everything”
Apparently, everything included attacking his own roster. When it was all said and done, Luke Kennard was gone — on his way to shooting an endless number of open 3s for the LA Clippers, and the Pistons had a point guard of the future in Killian Hayes, a forward that looks to have true two-way potential in Saddiq Bey, a big man who likes to eat in the paint in Isaiah Stewart and another point guard with an insane wingspan that loves to take it into the paint and yam it on helpless defenders.
Joining Kennard out the door this week was Bruce Brown, another quality contributor on the right side of his mid-20s and last year’s two-way player Jordan Bone. Soon, Thon Maker is likely to follow him out the door.
The biggest surprise of the night, in fact, is that Detroit’s veterans somehow survived Purge Night. Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose and Tony Snell are still on the team. For now. Their time will come soon enough, I am sure.
It wasn’t Troy Weaver’s night, it was
Grim Weaver’s Troy Reaper’s night.
Weaver went into the NBA Draft preaching drafting both the person and the player. He preached the importance of character, a desire to win and success on the floor. By that metric, Weaver aced the night. Every player the Pistons took aced the interview process with teams. They are good men, and hopefully they will be good players.
All the best draft interviewees are going to Detroit.https://t.co/npmQGQ3rcW— HoopsHype (@hoopshype) November 19, 2020
Each player has red flags, to be sure. There were more certain contributors on the board when Killian Hayes was taken at No. 7, but there is no denying that Hayes has promise on both ends of the floor. Isaiah Stewart was a pick at No. 16 that I outright don’t like and don’t understand.
He’s an undersized big man who doesn’t rebound particularly well with limited range and relies on his post game to succeed. He just doesn’t seem like a player who could project as anything more than an energy backup.
But Weaver sees something in how Stewart plays. He attacks. He gets after it. And he has a monster wingspan that the team presumably thinks will help make up for being only 6-foot-8.
Then there was Saddiq Bey. He will likely take a lot of those small forward minutes that the undersized pair of the now departed Brown and Kennard were handling last season. Bey comes from from Jay Wright’s basketball factory at Villanova. He joins Mikal Bridges, Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo, Omari Spellman and Eric Paschall as a hungry, gritty player looking to surpass expectations in the NBA.
He’s got a 7-foot-1 wingspan and should be able to lock down penetration on the perimeter and bother plenty of shots. He also has ability to connect from the perimeter, hitting 45% of his 3s on more than five attempts per game.
Finally, Saben Lee, a point guard that lives in the paint and at the line, two qualities that have been sorely lacking from Pistons point guards for the better part of a decade. He stand s just 6-foot-2 but has that Weaver-approved insane wingspan at 6-foot-9.
Versatility, switchability, toughness, defensive tenacity. Those aren’t attributes you’d ascribe to the Pistons the past several years, but it was the stamp Weaver put on his new organization.
We’ll have to see what comes next, and where
Grim Weaver’s Troy Reaper’s scythe falls next.
Update: Workshopping the appropriate nickname. Have we all landed on Troy Reaper?