It's hard to look at the Detroit Pistons and not wonder what exactly got us here. The Pistons have lost 26 straight, are worse than they were a season ago and the worst part is that they are trying to win.
This isn't a tank job for Victor Wembanyama, they are just bad.
With some teams, you can pinpoint a moment when things went bad, a big trade or injury that set the team back, the wrong draft pick, the wrong coach or a missed opportunity in free agency.
It's hard to do that with the Detroit Pistons, as there hasn't been a glaring mistake that led to this, it's been a lot of little ones, death by a thousand cuts.
Troy Weaver hasn't made one catastrophic move for the Detroit Pistons
Unlike Stan Van Gundy before him, it's not as easy to say exactly what has gone wrong under Troy Weaver, as he hasn't made a big Blake Griffin trade that stood out as a red flag for why things went south.
Troy Weaver's worst move has probably been drafting Killian Hayes over Tyrese Haliburton, but 10 other teams missed on Haliburton and the draft is hardly an exact science, you expect some misses.
But it's mostly been the little bad moves that have added up:
-Trading Bruce Brown, a valuable role player, for nothing
-Trading the team's best shooter, Luke Kennard, for the rights to Saddiq Bey, who is no longer on the team and has rounded into the exact role player the Pistons need, but for the Hawks.
-Thinking he had something with the original "Core Four," two of which aren't even on the team anymore. He compared them to the Yankees dynasty.
-Trading Mason Plumlee, a useful veteran center (who needs one of those?) and the 37th pick in exchange for the 57th pick. Make it make sense!
-Taking on the Deandre Jordan salary dump.
-Trading for Marvin Bagley III and then signing him to an extension when there was no other team bidding on him.
-Trading Saddiq Bey for James Wiseman.
-Trading for Joe Harris and Monte Morris in exchange for second-round picks.
This is just a sampling of some of Troy Weaver's work, and while none of these moves stand out as catastrophic, they add up to a roster that still doesn't have a veteran point guard or center, a team that still doesn't have forwards that can shoot, a roster whose cap space is tied up in players who don't even play and has $25 million invested in two backup centers whose games are nearly identical.
The worst part of Weaver's tenure is that he hasn't destroyed the team through bold moves, but through tiny bad ones, through inactivity, through not taking the kinds of risks he did when he made a sign-and-trade for Jerami Grant, which remains his best move as GM.
I'm not going to fault the drafting, as Weaver mostly took the guys everyone thought he should and the draft is a complete crapshoot anyway. But I will fault him for losing nearly every transaction he's made as GM, whether it was not getting enough to bail teams out of their salary problems or giving up on quality role players to take on more draft busts.
Each little cut has led us to where we are today, a team bleeding out from 26 straight losses, a team with no identity, a team with no plan.