The Detroit Pistons have a completely different roster than the one GM Troy Weaver took over, and finally have some excitement around the team.
Cade Cunningham looks like an All-Star (minus the turnovers), Ausar Thompson is special, Jalen Duren is the best young center in the NBA, Isaiah Stewart now looks like a steal and Jaden Ivey will eventually get there on both ends.
Given what he had to start with, Weaver has done a good, not perfect (no one is) job of rebuilding the Detroit Pistons and giving this team a future.
I try to take a tempered approach when evaluating GMs, as not every move can be immediately judged and all GMs make mistakes whether it is evaluating talent or balancing the books.
But there is one move Troy Weaver has made that needs to be called out, as it reared it’s ugly head last night in the form of James Wiseman.
The James Wiseman trade was a huge mistake for Troy Weaver and the Detroit Pistons
It’s easy to make the correct call in hindsight, but when Troy Weaver traded Saddiq Bey for James Wiseman, fans were rightfully skeptical right away outside of a weird tribe of Wiseman fans who (no offense) are all 13-year-olds who haven’t watched much basketball.
It didn’t make a lot of sense at the time, as the Pistons already had three centers and there was no clear path to minutes for Wiseman, who is the worst and least experienced player of the four. Detroit is also thin at forward, something that is showing now with Bojan Bogdanovic and Isaiah Livers out with injuries.
But it’s not just the roster balance, James Wiseman is simply not a good basketball player. Maybe he will be someday. He has all of the physical tools, but rarely have I watched a player so lost on defense, so late to make decisions, so lacking in a discernable basketball skill other than being tall and athletic.
I do not think the Pistons should have extended a big money offer to Bey, but it’s pretty clear they could use him this season, as he is averaging over 11 points per game while shooting 50 percent from the floor and 42 percent from long range. Again, I don’t think the Pistons should have extended him, but give me Bey or the five second-round picks he netted over Wiseman any day.
Wiseman was abysmal last night, somehow putting up a -15 in just six minutes and committing as many fouls (4) as points. But the truth is that he wouldn’t even have been in there if it wasn’t for the injury to Duren and he might never be again, as coach Williams was going with two-way G-Leaguer Stanley Umude instead of the guy he traded a rotation player to get.
When you factor in the $20 million Weaver wasted on Joe Harris with Wiseman’s salary, you have $32.5 million wrapped up in two players who shouldn’t be in an NBA rotation.
Sometimes doing nothing is better than doing something, which was the case with the Wiseman trade, as the Pistons could actually use Bey, but at the very least, gave up a rotation player for nothing when they could have had five extra second-round picks.
I try to be fair to GMs, and I always give Weaver credit when he does something I like, but we also have to call this one out, as the Wiseman trade hasn’t worked. Luckily, he’ll be gone after next season, but in the meantime he’s a waste of a roster spot for a shorthanded team that needs production, not “potential.”