It looked as though the Detroit Pistons were going to be idle at the trade deadline, but at the last minute, Troy Weaver orchestrated a deal to send Saddiq Bey and Kevin Knox out in exchange for James Wiseman.
It was a puzzling move to many, as the Pistons already have young bigs in Jalen Duren, Isaiah Stewart and Marvin Bagley III, so figuring out the depth chart is going to be no easy task for coach Dwane Casey.
As of the writing of this, the deal is in peril, as Gary Payton II failed his physical and the Golden State Warriors could decide to call the whole thing off, but for now, the deal is still a go.
Troy Weaver surely heard the chatter and outrage from some corners of the Pistons’ fanbase, which were upset that he traded a rotation player for another big man who hasn’t done anything since being drafted second overall in 2020, similar to the flyer he took on Marvin Bagley III.
Weaver responded in an interview with 97.1 The Ticket in which he revealed some of his mindset behind the trade for James Wiseman.
Detroit Pistons: Troy Weaver interview reveals reasoning behind trade for James Wiseman
The funniest part of the interview to me was Troy Weaver asking fans of the Detroit Pistons to “be patient.” Buddy, we have been. The Pistons haven’t won a playoff game since 2008, so our patience extends well beyond Weaver’s time in Detroit. We have no choice but to be patient, but fans are also eager to see some fruits of the unlimited patience we have shown already.
Weaver thinks those are coming soon and that adding some size and athleticism will help. Here is some of what he had to say about the trade for Wiseman:
"“The top four teams in the East, Boston, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Cleveland, if we want a chance to compete in the East, look at those teams…They’re all top-12 defenses and they’re all big. We’ve played all those teams and we’ve been at a disadvantage size wise against those teams. If we can’t rebound and we can’t play at the rim, we don’t have a chance. And adding this guy (Wiseman) to Bagley and Stewart and Duren really gives us a chance.”"
The Pistons could try to follow a similar path as the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have successfully used a two-big lineup and have the number one defense in the league.
The big difference between those top four teams and the Detroit Pistons is that they have versatile big men who can play all over the floor or who are dominant defensively in the cases of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid. Then you have Boston who has two of the top two-way forwards in basketball.
The bigs the Pistons have don’t really fall into that category, and Wiseman has shown little ability to protect the rim, which is one of the reasons Golden State agreed to give up on him. However, Wiseman is only 21-years-old and has time to develop into a more complete player on the defensive end.
What Troy Weaver said makes sense in the abstract, but we’ll have to wait and see if the bigs on the Detroit Pistons can develop into the types of players we currently see on the top teams.