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The Pistons, The Plan, and The People

Brady isn’t sure what Troy Weaver’s ultimate plan is. So, he asked Pistons Twitter what they think it is.

I’ve long asked myself the same question as it relates to the Detroit Pistons.

What’s the plan?

I know what my plan is — how I'd do things — but I’m not Troy Weaver. Entering his fourth year GM, Weaver has done a lot, but it sure doesn’t feel like we’re any closer to this being “restored” or whatever word you use to classify the slower-than-molasses rebuild.

Our fearless leader, Sean Corp, detailed the grim vibes around the rebuild in a great post you can check out here, and it brings me back to that same question — what’s the end result here? What does the finished product look and feel like?

When you put together a puzzle, the final picture becomes clearer and clearer with each piece that you place. I’m not seeing that here, and I wondered if I was alone in thinking that... so I went to the mean streets of X, formerly Twitter, to gauge Pistons Twitter.

Here’s what the people said (thanks to all her engaged!):


I’ve joked that I’m not sure Troy knows what the final product is going to look like — he’s just accumulating assets along the way until somebody breaks out. Maybe that’s a healthy Cade Cunningham in his return this year or Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren as sophomores.

Maybe it’s Ausar Thompson as a rookie?

It feels like the Pistons are “Trusting the Process” in the same way the Sixers did under Sam Hinkie — it just hasn’t been as overt. The Process yielded 75 wins over four painful years of tanking under Hinkie before the NBA stepped in and gave him the boot.

The Restoration has yielded 80 wins over four painful years of tanking under Weaver.

I’m just saying.

I think everyone wants this to be the case. Acquire a bunch of assets then go get a star.

The question is, what star can you go get? We live in an age of player empowerment, and disgruntled stars aren’t blowing up their agents phone telling them Detroit is the preferred destination when they demand a trade.

That’s not to say it can’t change, but for that to happen, the Pistons would need to show a pulse and prove to be the team a star would want to go to... because as much as many of us love Metro Detroit, it’s never going to be a draw for disgruntled stars like South Beach or LA.

All of this is why signing a difference-making star in free agency is a pipe dream, too, not to mention there are very few stars coming down that free agent pipeline considering the amount of extensions players are signing in recent years.

Detroit needs to follow the Cleveland Cavaliers’ path of consolidating pieces for a star who complements the remaining core. Darius Garland is an All-Star now and Evan Mobley is going to be one soon, but their development and play was enhanced by the addition of Donovan Mitchell prior to last season.

Trading for a star is the move. It always has been.

There are still vocal portions of the fanbase that think the core of Cade, Ivey, Duren and now Ausar are going to organically grow into a great team.

It could happen, but the odds of that are low.

We’ve seen it recently with the Memphis Grizzlies behind the massive growth of Ja Morant, Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson, Jr. Weaver was in OKC when the Thunder did it with Kevin Durant, James Harden and Russell Westbrook, but unless one (or two or three) of your draft picks blossom into bonafide All-Stars QUICKLY, you’ve basically risked your life savings on a +500000 parlay and the knee breakers are gonna be knocking on your door soon.

These were my favorite answers because they answered the question at hand.

We all can see and understand (to some degree) what Weaver has done so far. A lot of the people who responded here told me all the things he has done, but only a few really looked at the bigger picture.

The Restored version of the Pistons is just a massive team, right? They've got a jumbo point guard in Cade and it appears they want another big wing in Ausar Thompson alongside him in the backcourt. Two 6-foot-6 guards, that’s rare.

The same logic applies up front with the plethora of big men and the two-center lineups and whatnot. Maybe, eventually, someday, the plan is to get a real, floor spacing big out there alongside Jalen Duren. For now, it’s just a bunch off big ass dudes.

And all of this leads me to something that I’ve begun to think a lot about: it kinda feels like Isaiah Stewart is the lynchpin to all of this, doesn't it?

Just look at the evidence:

  • Detroit invested massive draft capital in him, not the No. 16 pick in 2020, but also the future first Weaver dealt to get him now has Detroit in limbo without a tradeable first
  • Detroit’s insistence on starting him, first under Dwane Casey and now under Monty
  • Detroit pushed him to change his approach/game entirely by having him learn to be a stretch four on the fly
  • Detroit handed him the seventh-largest rookie extension this summer

Now, I don’t think he’s as important as that evidence lays out, but it’s hard to say he’s not and it’s impossible to say Weaver doesn’t put an immense amount of value in him.

This all brings me to the point of this post: We don’t know the plan and I think that’s why people are so down on the Pistons coming into the season. It’s hard to get excited when the franchise is morose, but even more so when you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The front office hasn’t done a good job communicating or articulating this, but Weaver is no wordsmith — unless he’s talking about Halle Berry — so maybe that shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Right now, being a Pistons fan is like putting together a puzzle without a box to reference.

Hopefully, this season we start to see the bigger picture come into focus.

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I regret(?) to inform you the Detroit Pistons are just a run-of-the-mill bad team