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Pistons GM Troy Weaver doesn’t anticipate much roster turnover in offseason

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DETROIT — Last offseason, the Detroit Pistons made a ton of moves that left them with just four familiar faces. This offseason, the team doesn’t anticipate much upheaval.

As of now, the Pistons are happy with the roster they constructed and likely won’t make many changes. General manager Troy Weaver discussed the importance of making sure that the team has the right people for the franchise restoration.

“It’s extremely important that we brought in the right people in our restoring because it’s going to be hard to restore and dig ourselves out of this hole, get us back to where we want to go, and you have to look to the left and to the right and be really confident in the person next to you that we can get this done,” Weaver said. “So getting the right people with the right mindset is everything in this restoration process.”

Since the Pistons hired Weaver last June, he has completed at least 18 transactions to get the roster where it is.

He helped orchestrate several deals on draft night in November that netted them three additional picks to go with their seventh overall selection. Those extra picks got the Pistons Isaiah Stewart, Saddiq Bey and Saben Lee.

They acquired Rodney McGruder from the Los Angeles Clippers as part of the deal that secured them the draft rights to Bey.

They got Jerami Grant through a sign and trade agreement with the Denver Nuggets and traded for Delon Wright as part of a three-team deal with the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder. They then signed free agents Mason Plumlee, Jahlil Okafor, Wayne Ellington, Josh Jackson and Deividas Sirvydis.

After making more rosters moves after a condensed training camp and two days after the season began, they signed Frank Jackson to a two-way contract.

Weaver and Detroit’s front office went further by trading Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks for Dennis Smith Jr. and a 2021 second round draft pick. The move came as the Pistons leaned into the restoration and gave Rose the chance to sign with a playoff-contending team.

The Pistons then bought out the contract of Blake Griffin, giving him the opportunity to join championship-contending Brooklyn.

Detroit’s front office found two more trade partners, sending Svi Mykhailiuk to the Thunder for Hamidou Diallo. Then, it dealt Wright to the Sacramento Kings for Cory Joseph, and second-round picks in 2021 and 2024.

With the roster filled with players who bought into the restoration, the Pistons aren’t looking for too many disruptions to the cohesiveness they’re trying to build.

“I don’t anticipate having too many roster spots,” Weaver said. “I like our group and excited about the guys under contract, and even our own free agents, so I don’t anticipate much turnover at all. I would say maybe one or two additions from the outside but the essence for the Pistons moving forward is all in-house. This is about internal development and growth. And that will be our focus.”

Diallo, Ellington, Frank Jackson, Lee and Smith are free agents this offseason. Diallo, Lee and Frank Jackson are all restricted free agents, so the Pistons can retain them if they do not receive qualifying offers from other teams.

Detroit does have the Bird Rights to Diallo and the 22-year-old has shown that he has grown comfortable in coach Dwane Casey’s system over the course of his 20 games. Diallo fits the Pistons timeline and his defense and potential as a shooter make him intriguing fit.

“He’s a very talented young man who we’re very familiar with, been watching him play since he was 16.,” Weaver said. “I told him a lot of players don’t get this opportunity to take the bull by the horns. He has that chance now to come in and really turn his career into a huge positive.

“He’s been teetering up and down in OKC, injuries, the different construct of the team, and now he’s here with a young group. Hopefully, we can get him, talk to him to continue with the group, but it’s a young group that he fits in with. We need his talents, and if he can continue to buy into Coach Casey’s system, which he did, I thought he got pretty comfortable towards the end, I think that he could have a very bright future in Detroit.”

While free agency may not have a lot of fireworks, where the Pistons fall in the Draft Lottery and who they ultimately pick will bring some change. The Pistons ended with the second-worst regular-season record and have a 14 percent chance of winning the lottery for the top pick and a 52.1 percent chance of drafting in the top four. Fellow bottom-three teams Houston and Orlando have the same odds.

“Definitely star potential in the top five,” Weaver said. “Franchise changing? I don’t see any Shaqs (Shaquille O’Neal) or LeBrons (James) in the draft, but it’s a pretty talented class. There’ll be someone we can add to the group to continue to push us forward. And we’ll be excited to make the choice, wherever we land. I’m not looking for somebody to walk in the draft and change the franchise.”

There are plenty of intriguing players in the top five which is unanimously topped by Oklahoma State point guard Cade Cunningham. The other prospects expected to go early are USC center Evan Mobley and Gonzaga combo guard Jalen Suggs, who round out the top three. Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga of the G League are also in the mix in the top five.

The Pistons, though, are focused on finding the right fit and the players who buy into the restoration of the franchise.

“We need competitive guys. We need a competitive player that brings it and fits with the group, with a…

Read More: Pistons GM Troy Weaver doesn’t anticipate much roster turnover in offseason

2021-05-18 00:22:05

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