Detroit Pistons: Grading every front office transaction of 2020-21

Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Pistons, Derrick Rose
Derrick Rose #25 of the Detroit Pistons moves the ball up court in front of Dennis Smith Jr. #4 of the New York Knicks. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images) /

Detroit Pistons: Grading every transaction of 2020-21

In the final group of transactions, the Detroit Pistons said goodbye to some veterans and started the new era of Pistons basketball. This is now Troy Weaver’s team to build.

February 8, 2021- Traded Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks for Dennis Smith and a 2021 2nd round draft pick.

After a lot of talk, the Pistons finally traded Derrick Rose to the Knicks for Dennis Smith Jr. and a second-round pick. I actually thought this was a pretty good haul for the veteran and most importantly, sent him to a team he wanted to play for. Rose had nothing but good things to say about Detroit, so the Pistons picked up some positive PR in this trade that might help them get a free agent down the road. It wasn’t a blockbuster, but the Pistons got to take a flyer on DSJ (pass) and picked up more draft assets for a guy who was leaving anyway. I thought Rose should have been traded sooner, which would be the only reason this grade is so low.

Grade: B-

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March 5, 2021: Pistons buy out Blake Griffin and waive him

Blake Griffin was terrible for the Detroit Pistons this season, so even though his salary will destroy their cap for another season, it was good to see him go. Griffin didn’t endear himself to Pistons’ fans by immediately playing better for the Nets, but who cares? He was never going to be good with Detroit, so I wish him well and he did give the Pistons some extra cap space next season, which he didn’t have to. This wasn’t Weaver’s fault, but he got stuck dealing with it. I hope Tom Gores remembers the sting of paying someone $30 million for nothing, as he was the primary reason the Pistons ended up making the disastrous, awful, terrible trade for Griffin in the first place.

Grade: C

March 13, 2021- Traded Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and a 2027 2nd round draft pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Hamidou Diallo.

I loved this move because it gave the Pistons the chance to get a look at a much higher ceiling talent than Mykhailiuk, who was not having a good season in Detroit. Diallo is an ascending player who fits the Weaver mold as a long, athletic defender, and he had a couple of huge game for the Pistons. He also got hurt and we’ll have to see if and how much he re-signs for, but this looked like a calculated move to get some talent without giving much up.

Grade: B

March 25, 2021- Traded Delon Wright to the Sacramento Kings for Cory Joseph, a 2021 2nd round draft pick and a 2024 2nd round draft pick. 

This was a move that looked good at the time and looks even better now. Joseph was actually pretty good for Detroit, and if it weren’t for his massive guaranteed salary, they might keep him. Not only did they get an equally good player for Wright, but picked up some cap space if they waive Joseph in the offseason and grabbed two second-round picks as well. This was a home run of a deal for Wright, who was good in Detroit but is a career backup who was not part of the future plans.

Grade: A

The Detroit Pistons also made some minor moves like signing Tyler Cook, but those were the bulk of their front office transactions for the 2020-21 season. As you can see, most of them were great and the only really “bad” moves were ones that were leftovers from the last regime.

Troy Weaver had a lights out first season and I can’t wait to see what he will do in the NBA Draft and free agency this year.

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