Troy Weaver is not afraid to bet on talent in the NBA Draft.

Detroit Pistons draft odds for the 2020 NBA Draft are stagnant, for now. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons draft odds for the 2020 NBA Draft are stagnant, for now. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons new General Manager has proven that he’s not afraid to bet on talent.

Troy Weaver was hired to become the GM of the Detroit Pistons on June 18th, it is yet to be seen if he has had a chance to decorate his office but one can only assume it will have some “go big or go home” signage similar to your mother’s “live, laugh, love” home décor.

You see, Weaver would appear to be right at home in the shadows of the MGM Grand, and that willingness to take risks is exactly what is needed to get the Detroit Pistons on the right track.

Most recently the Milwaukee Bucks have used this method to build their roster through the NBA Draft, focusing around Giannis Antetokounmpo, who epitomizes what can happen when those gambles pay off.

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With the Detroit Pistons not usually viewed as a premiere destination to free agents, their best bet is to go all in on talent, despite what risks there may be in both the NBA Draft and free agency to build their roster, and maybe even find their own Giannis.

After twelve years with the Oklahoma City Thunder it appears that Weaver understands what it takes to build a small market into a contender and that he’s ready and willing to take some chances which has already become evident with the Piston’s recent signing of Justin Patton, a young former first round pick who has yet to find his footing on an NBA roster.

Digging into Weaver’s NBA Draft history with the Thunder we can see that Weaver’s anti-risk aversion and eye for talent is nothing new.

In 2019 the Thunder orchestrated a draft day trade to acquire Darius Bazley, a former five star wing prospect with exceptional size who chose to take the unusual route of eschewing both the NCAA and the G-League to train on his own for a year prior to the draft.

In 2017, the Thunder utilized the 21st overall pick to draft Terrance Ferguson, a guard with elite size who also chose to forgo college to instead spend a prep season playing overseas in the NBL (sound familiar to anyone?)

In 2014, the Thunder drafted Mitch McGary out of the University of Michigan 21st overall, despite having been projected as a lottery pick earlier in the process, after having dealt with a considerable amount of injuries and suspensions the Thunder decided to take the risk on McGary’s talent.

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And of course there’s also Russell Westbrook and James Harden, who both turned out to be decent players.

What can we extrapolate from this? Well, first of all, we can’t be completely sure just how much of these decisions were Weaver’s and how much was Oklahoma City Thunder GM Sam Presti.

However, Pistons fans can be confident in knowing that Weaver’s experience in the small market of Oklahoma City shows that he likely understands teams in this position need to gamble on franchise changing talent

and potential when the opportunity presents itself. Ed Stefanski showed that he knew this when he drafted Sekou Doumbouya last year, it’s now Weaver’s turn to continue down that path, with the NBA Draft Lottery scheduled for August 25th the Pistons once again have that chance.

All of this certainly points to Weaver and the Pistons being willing to draft LaMelo Ball as long as the ping pong balls bounce right and Mercury is in retrograde. But why should Weaver stop there?

If you hit on one scratch off don’t you go and buy another? It’s time for the Pistons to take advantage of the perpetual increase in eligible draft prospects by buying another lotto ticket, or in this case a second-round pick.

With a shrinking salary cap, teams will likely be more than willing to part with a second rounder in the upcoming draft in exchange for the fan favorite “cash considerations”.

For comparisons sake the Golden State Warriors purchased the 38th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft for $2.4 million, and in 2019 the Miami Heat purchased the 44th pick for $1.88 million.

While the money spent to acquire the picks don’t actually count against the salary cap, with the cap space the Pistons do have, should RJ Hampton, Daniel Oturu, or Saddiq Bey, just to name a few, fall into the second round the Pistons and Weaver would be wise to swing for the fences.

Next. Pistons' new General Manager has plenty of experience. dark