Troy Weaver’s two-year transformation of the Detroit Pistons

Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

It has been just over two years since Troy Weaver was named general manager of the Detroit Pistons and he wasted no time putting his stamp on the roster.

Weaver immediately became known as “Troy Reaper” after taking an ax to a rotting franchise that had a bloated payroll and little talent.

Troy Weaver had his work cut out for him, taking over a team that had won 20 games the season before. The Pistons were still in recovery from the Stan Van Gundy era after SVG proved he was a much better coach than executive.

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing, and there have been some hiccups along the way, but Troy Weaver has a vision for this team that is starting to come into focus.

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In just two short years the Pistons went from having arguably the worst roster situation in the NBA to having one of the most promising. Let’s take a look at this transformation.

Detroit Pistons: Troy Weaver and the restoration

This is more or less the roster Weaver had when he took over as GM of the Detroit Pistons:

  • Bruce Brown
  • Sekou Doumbouya
  • Andre Drummond
  • Langston Galloway
  • Blake Griffin
  • John Henson
  • Reggie Jackson
  • Luke Kennard
  • Brandon Knight
  • Thon Maker
  • Markieff Morris
  • Svi Mykhailiuk
  • Derrick Rose
  • Tony Snell
  • Khyri Thomas
  • Christian Wood


The one thing all of these guys have in common is that none of them are currently on the Detroit Pistons. Weaver got rid of the dead weight, which let’s face it, was most of these guys.

He had a broken former star in Blake Griffin, and an overpaid role player in Andre Drummond eating up most of the payroll. The young players Weaver inherited topped out at mediocre but were mostly just bad.

Reggie Jackson can still play and is still loved by Pistons fans, but other than him, is there a single guy on this list you would want back? (I hear the Bruce Brown fans screaming right now) Even the promising Christian Wood has proved to be a bit of a headache and is probably getting way overpaid right now.

It was a hot mess, and Weaver realized quickly that the only way to save the franchise was to start over, so he did.

In just two years, he has turned that mess above into this:

  • Cade Cunningham
  • Killian Hayes
  • Saddiq Bey
  • Isaiah Stewart
  • Jaden Ivey
  • Jalen Duren
  • Marvin Bagley III
  • Cory Joseph
  • Kelly Olynyk
  • Hamidou Diallo
  • Isaiah Livers
  • Saben Lee
  • Nerlens Noel
  • Alec Burks

The Pistons depth chart is now teeming with young talent, with two young stars to build around in Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey. Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart look like high-end role players who could possibly be more, and the Pistons have two more talented young bigs in Marvin Bagley III and Jalen Duren.

This is one of the best young cores in the league, but if you look closely the most important thing is what is missing, and that’s the bloated contracts and overpaid, mediocre veterans. The vets the Pistons do have are on relatively team-friendly deals that don’t extend past this year.

Troy Weaver hasn’t been perfect, and there are certainly moves you can debate, but what can’t be argued is that he has transformed this team from a laughing stock to team that will soon be “a force to be reckoned with.”

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