Five Biggest Questions Facing Pistons New GM Troy Weaver

After a decade of losing, it's an uphill climb in Detroit. 

Will Burchfield
June 18, 2020 - 11:54 am
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There’s no way around it, not that anyone's looking away. Troy Weaver has his work cut out for him. 

Like Steve Yzerman a year ago with the Wings, the new architect of the Pistons is inheriting a fix-it project that began a few years too late. The Pistons chased a playoff spot in vain for most of the last decade, and now they’re counting on Weaver — along with Ed Stefanski and Dwane Casey — to begin building out of the rubble

On the plus side, the front office has a high draft pick and substantial cap space at its disposal. Here are the five biggest questions facing Weaver in the months ahead. 

1. What's the long-term plan for Blake Griffin? He’s 31 years old and intends to play beyond his current contract, which runs through next season. Or the season after that, if Griffin opts in for about $40 million. Do the rebuilding Pistons want that kind of expense on the ledger? If not, how do they move on from Griffin in a financially sensible manner? More questions than answers, at the moment. 

2. What's the immediate plan for Derrick Rose? The Pistons took calls on him at the trade deadline, but never got an offer to their liking. Stefanski said Detroit values his veteran leadership, especially on a young team. But Rose, on the heels of a strong season, could be a valuable trade chip this offseason. The question is whether Weaver and the Pistons are willing to tear the roster down to its studs. 

3. Is Christian Wood here to stay? The young center burst into the limelight after the Andre Drummond trade, and he’ll be a free agent this offseason. The Pistons will have competition for his services. They’ll also have his Bird Rights, which will give them a leg-up in negotiations. Wood could be a big part of Detroit’s future, potentially a franchise cornerstone, but only if Weaver can convince him to stick around. 

4. Can Detroit find a star in the draft? Depending on the lottery, the Pistons could have their highest draft pick since 2003. And it’s crucial they put it to good use, which hasn't exactly been a pattern this century. They’ve done better under Stefanski, and that's a good sign. Weaver has to keep that momentum going, or the rebuild’s going nowhere. 

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5. What will the Pistons do with all their money? They’ll be among the NBA’s leaders this offseason in cap space, but they’re not poised to spend big in free agency. Not yet, anyway. That doesn’t mean they won’t add salary. Detroit could take on bad contracts from other teams if draft capital is the reward. This is one way for Weaver to add assets without further stripping the roster.