Big swings and flops: Troy Weaver's first draft class with the Detroit Pistons

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38th overall pick, Saben Lee, 6’2 point guard, Vanderbuilt

Troy Weaver’s final pick in the 2020 draft was point guard Saben Lee out of Vanderbuilt in the second round. Saben was an explosive bucket-getter during his time with Vanderbuilt, which was his strength, but also his downfall. Lee had a great ability to slash and get to the bucket, but his shooting form was unorthodox and wasn’t quite consistent enough to catch on in the NBA. His potential was there though, and that was his biggest asset. 

Lee’s stats with Detroit were never anything special, but more importantly, he was included in the deal that brought Bojan Bogdanovic to Detroit from Utah. That in itself is a great deal as Bogey was instrumental in Detroit for quite a few years. Being that he was just shipped out, Saben Lee, in a way, played a large part in that. I’m not sure that was the original plan when Weaver selected Lee, but still, it slightly worked out. His value ended up being much more important to Detroit than that of Killian Hayes. 

When Troy Weaver was brought in, there was a ton of hope based on how the Thunder were sitting at the time of his departure. In his first draft class, Weaver swung for the fences, and ended up with four rookies, three from the first round. Now, four years later, just one rookie is still on the roster, and the others have exited for next to nothing. At the end of the day, Troy Weaver turned three first round draft picks into an extended Isaiah Stewart, and James Wiseman, who can’t crack the rotation on an eight win team. For those applying the pressure on Weaver, they need not look further than his original draft class. 

His second round selection Saben Lee (plus Kelly Olynyk) would eventually turn into Quentin Grimes, two second round picks, Evan Fournier, Malachi Flynn, and Ryan Arcidiacono. Of course Burks added to get Detroit some of those as the two trades were combined, but still not a terrible pick in the end.