Lillard trade shows what the Pistons were up against

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

The Detroit Pistons have been rebuilding for what seems like forever, as we have suffered through four straight years of extreme losing.

Troy Weaver is now under some amount of pressure to put a competitive team on the floor for the first time in his tenure as Pistons’ GM, and if there aren’t signs of improvement, we could start to hear rumblings about his job.

Detroit’s mission hasn’t gotten any easier with recent additions to the Eastern Conference that have added even more firepower to the top two teams.

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The Portland Trail Blazers may have surpassed the Pistons in terms of young talent after the Damian Lillard trade, and they still have Malcolm Brogdon to move and potentially add more young talent and/or picks.

They ended up with a haul and they aren’t even finished:

Portland has rebuilt their roster on the fly and now has a lot of young, complementary talent to go with some future draft picks that could end up being very good, as the picks they received are all unprotected.

The Trail Blazers rebuilt their roster in one offseason, which shows how nice it is to have a star.

The Pistons’ rebuild started from nothing

If you take a look at the Pistons’ roster when Weaver took over, you’ll see that not a single player on it is still on the team.

Unlike Portland, Detroit didn’t have an unhappy superstar to kickstart their rebuild, in fact, they didn’t have any assets at all.

What they did have was plenty of sunk costs, including Blake Griffin, who was still on a huge contract that the Pistons eventually had to buy out. They had to gut the entire roster just to start over, and when they did, there wasn’t any big return coming back.

So it’s difficult to compare what Troy Weaver was up against to the situations in places like Portland, OKC or Brooklyn, as they all had something to start with, while Detroit’s rebuid was from the ground up, which is why we’re only now seeing the foundations starting to be put in place.

This isn’t an excuse for Troy Weaver, who has still yet to even try to build a functioning team in his tenure, but the only goal was to acquire as many assets as possible with winning not a priority.

Rebuilds can happen quickly when teams have a star to trade, but the Pistons didn’t, which is why this rebuild is going more slowly than some fans would like.

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