Troy Weaver started his tenure as GM of the Detroit Pistons just before the 2020 NBA Draft.
He ended up walking away with four players that he dubbed the “Core Four” which is pretty funny in hindsight considering two of them are no longer on the team three years later.
It’s hard to argue with Troy Weaver’s drafts after that (at least for now) but it’s getting harder to defend his choices in the 2020 Draft.
Yesterday was the deadline for rookie extensions from that class and only one of the Pistons four picks actually got one, big man Isaiah Stewart.
Killian Hayes and Saddiq Bey were both left without extensions, as was James Wiseman, the player Weaver traded Bey for.
In fact, the 2020 draft class as a whole was full of players their teams deemed unworthy of extensions, which will lead to a lot of restricted free agents next offseason.
A lot of busts from the 2020 NBA Draft
There were a total of 13 players from the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft who did not get extensions, three of which are current or former Detroit Pistons.
Not all of these players can be considered busts, especially since Tyrese Maxey is on the list and he could crack the All-Star team this season. Philly didn’t sign him for cap reasons but will almost certainly give him a max deal at the end of this season.
I was hoping the clock would tick down before Jaden McDaniels could sign an extension, but Minnesota was able to sign him to a 5-year deal worth a reported $136 million, taking a potential free-agent target away from Detroit.
The unsigned players will become restricted free agents next offseason and there might be a few who interest the Pistons, including Patrick Williams from Chicago, Obi Toppin from the Pacers and possibly Aleksej Pokusevski from OKC if he can get healthy.
This is the tough part about building through the draft. Even when the draft is loaded with elite talent, which this one certainly wasn’t, it is still a crap shoot, and if you get a dud draft like this, you’ll be lucky to walk away with a rotation player. Outside of Anthony Edwards, LaMelo Ball and Tyrese Haliburton, the 28th pick (McDaniels) might end up being the best player.
It was not a great start for Troy Weaver, though Killian Hayes has shown signs of life in the preseason and may salvage a career with Detroit. I wouldn’t bet on James Wiseman, so it’s very possible that the Pistons end up with just one of the players they’ve drafted or traded for from the 2020 Draft.