Mikal Bridges trade shows where Troy Weaver totally failed the Pistons

Memphis Grizzlies v Detroit Pistons
Memphis Grizzlies v Detroit Pistons / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

Fans of the Detroit Pistons dreamed of potentially trading for Mikal Bridges, a player who would be an ideal fit with franchise cornerstone Cade Cunningham. 

We cooked up our best fake trades, talked ourselves into all manner of nonsense, only to watch Bridges get traded to the Knicks for what amounts to five first-round picks, two seconds and a swap: 

Turns out our dreams were more like pipe dreams, as the Pistons had nowhere near that to offer for Bridges. And you could argue that’s a good thing, as that’s a ton to give up for a guy who has never made an All-Star team, a very good player who will definitely help the Knicks, but at a steep cost. 

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It doesn’t matter anyway, as the Pistons, after being the worst team in the NBA for the past 15 years, have painfully few assets to use in trades. 

The Detroit Pistons ’draft pick stockpile is bare 

Trajan Langdon spoke about the idea of taking on bad contracts in exchange for assets, something the team should have been doing during this entire never-ending rebuild. 

That’s on Troy Weaver, who somehow oversaw the worst four years in franchise history without garnering a single draft asset. 

Not only do the Pistons not have any extra picks, they actually owe one to the Knicks, who gave away all of those picks for Bridges and still have more draft capital than the Pistons, a team that hasn’t won a playoff game in going on 20 years. 

The Pistons took on plenty of salary dumps under Weaver, but none of them yielded first-round picks, the most valuable currency when trying to trade for a star player. 

Instead, they focused on cap space, which matters less than anything when there aren’t any star free agents and none of them want to come to Detroit anyway. 

Weaver’s defenders often talk about how he left the Pistons with financial flexibility and no bad contracts, which is true. 

But when he took over, the Pistons had one bad deal on the books (Blake Griffin) and held all of their draft picks. Now they are down one, all so they could draft Isaiah Stewart, a role player who they are now shopping in trades. 

The Pistons did all of that losing for a clean cap sheet, a small question mark in Cade Cunningham and huge question marks in Jaden Ivey, Jalen Duren and Ausar Thompson, four players who do not fit together. 

Weaver should have been trying to collect picks the entire time, instead he was giving them away, which will become even more painfully obvious every time there is a trade. 

Teams like the Knicks and Thunder have been stockpiling picks while also trying to compete while the Detroit Pistons were doing neither. Trajan Langdon has his work cut out for him.