Are fans of the Detroit Pistons turning on Troy Weaver?

Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

Last year was like the rebuild honeymoon for the Detroit Pistons and Troy Weaver.

Fans knew the Detroit Pistons were going to be horrible, but were happy with a GM who was finally saying all of the right things. The Pistons unloaded all of their veterans and bad contracts, started stockpiling young players and fans were happy.

“In Troy we trust” was the motto of last season, especially after Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart came from outside of the lottery to make the All-Rookie team and the Pistons secured the number one pick in the draft.

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But this season the goodwill seems to be dissipating, as the Pistons are even worse than they were last season and some of Troy Weaver’s picks have regressed, though Saddiq Bey has certainly played much better of late.

With Luke Kennard and Christian Wood playing well, some fans are starting to second-guess those trades and some are even suggesting the Pistons lost out by not paying Kennard $16 million a year to score 11 points per game.

Or that not paying Christian Wood, who is 26-years-old and stat stuffing on a bad team AND making $14 million a year, was a bad idea.

Here’s a sample from a long (and fun) discussion that has been happening on Twitter:

So are these fans right? Is Troy Weaver overrated? Or are they just impatient and sick of losing?

Evaluating Troy Weaver’s moves for the Detroit Pistons

I think it’s a little of both to be honest.

Fans probably got a little too excited about Bey and Stewart, who are nice players but never really projected to be stars in the NBA. I think both can be key players on a good team, but they probably aren’t as good as fans were making them out to be last season.

But that doesn’t mean those moves were wrong either, as the Detroit Pistons got into this mess by overpaying role players for years, giving guys like Ben Gordon big contracts when they were ultimately role players.

Luke Kennard is fine at what he does, and his shooting is valuable to teams that have good defenders who can cover his complete lack of defense. The Pistons aren’t that team and if they had re-signed Kennard we’d be right back to the strategy that made the Pistons mediocre for years.

Same with Wood, who I feel is wildly overrated and has yet to be on a winning team. I have nothing against either of them, but I would rather have Bey and Stewart on rookie deals rather than Kennard and Wood making a combined $30 million. None of the four are players to build around, so until you have those, you don’t pay guys like Kennard and Wood, who are role players.

There have definitely been some salary-cap related moves that I can’t defend, mostly because I still don’t understand why they did some of them. Paying DeAndre Jordan and Dewayne Dedmon to play for other teams does not seem like sound strategy.

I am not in a cult (we have enough of those these days), so I am perfectly fine with fans questioning some of Weaver’s moves or choices, but I was also prepared for this and knew this restoration wasn’t going to happen overnight. A true rebuild takes time, so I am willing to be patient to see how this plays out, as I do think Weaver has a vision that is taking shape.

I also think it is very difficult to judge anything from the last two seasons when the entire league and world has been thrown into disarray by the pandemic.

I’m at least happy the Detroit Pistons aren’t continuing to do the same things that led to more than a decade of mediocrity and if that means being terrible for a few seasons, I’m here for it.

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