The Detroit Pistons have been building their team through the draft and have little to show for it.
Tearing down the roster and tanking for three seasons did not yield the type of certain star power the Pistons were hoping for and their roster building around the picks has been abysmal, which hasn't helped.
But we weren't hearing it back in 2020, at the beginning of this mess, when Troy Weaver wheeled and dealed to get four draft picks in the 2020 NBA Draft, a group he comically dubbed the "Core Four," which included Killian Hayes, Isaiah Stewart, Saddiq Bey and Saben Lee.
Like many things Troy Weaver has said and written over the years, this became more comedy than reality in retrospect.
Troy Weaver compared the Pistons' Core Four to the Yankees dynasty
The funniest part about the whole "Core Four" thing when you look back on it, was that Weaver talked as if he had the beginnings of a dynasty, comparing his picks to the Yankees.
This ran in the Detroit News back in November of 2020:
"With a point guard, forward and center in the first round and another guard in Lee — who likely will be on a two-way contract — they have pieces that fit both on the court and on the cap sheet. He compared getting the four draft picks to the New York Yankees’ construction with Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera in their championship era in the 1990s and 2000s."
Ah, I remember having that optimism back then at the beginning, when we were just summer children who hadn't yet experienced the hard winter of 3+ seasons of being the worst team in basketball.
But the reality is that Killian Hayes looks like a role player who may not be on the roster next season. Isaiah Stewart is being pigeonholed into a role that doesn't suit him. Saddiq Bey plays for the Atlanta Hawks and Saben Lee for the Phoenix Suns.
So yeah, they came just shy of a Yankees' dynasty that was full of Hall of Fame players and World Series titles. Troy Weaver seems to love nothing more than setting up unrealstic expectations.
So much for the "Core Four." Fans now use that term to refer to Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Ausar Thompson and Jalen Duren, though when you look at the results this season you have to wonder if we'll be looking back on the "Core Four 2.0" the same way we do the first iteration now as the Pistons reset again around new hope.