At the start of the week, it was reported the Detroit Pistons were interested in hiring Troy Weaver to be General Manager of the Pistons. It was reported on Thursday by James Edwards III of The Athletic that a deal has been concluded. Troy Weaver will become GM of the Pistons and lead the franchise through a rebuilding process.
The Pistons’ interest in Weaver goes back to 2018. He was the top candidate for the General Manager position after Stan Van Gundy was released from his duties as coach and president of basketball operations by the ownership. Over the last two years, the Pistons have been led by committee.
Ed Stefanski has taken a prominent role in decision making but there have been other key contributors. Sachin Gupta was a key voice in the front office before he left for Minnesota. Tom Gores, the Pistons’ owner, was also a vocal contributor. However, Detroit have long maintained a desire to bring a General Manager in and give them autonomy to make decisions.
Weaver’s ability to evaluate talent effectively and find diamonds in the rough is a major reason in why the Pistons chose to hire Weaver. Detroit are heading towards a full scale rebuild without any identifiable young stars. The roster looks bare and it will be up to Troy to build a nucleus of young talent that can contend three or four years down the line.
There were other candidates considered for the role. Jeff Peterson, the assistant GM for the Brooklyn Nets, and Mark Hughes, the assistant GM for the Clippers, were both interviewed for the position. However, it was decided by Tom Gores, Dwane Casey and Ed Stefanski that Weaver was the man for the job.
Troy will become the ninth black GM in the league and his path to becoming a General Manager is different to most. Weaver did not play basketball professionally at all. Weaver started his career in AAU; Troy was head coach of a DC-based team. The start in AAU meant that Weaver built contacts and connections within the Maryland-DC hoops scene.
Weaver leveraged these connections into a series of assistant jobs in college. Troy Weaver was the man who recruited Carmelo Anthony to Syracuse; Carmelo went onto to lead Syracuse to a National Championship in 2003.
After the National Championship, Weaver left the college ranks for the Utah Jazz. Weaver worked for the Jazz for three seasons before landing in Oklahoma City. Throughout his time with the Thunder, Troy Weaver was responsible for roster development and draft preparation.
Weaver will become the fourth executive from the Thunder front office to move into a General Manager role in the league since the start of the decade. Oklahoma City’s executive tree around the league has been hugely impressive. Rich Cho, Rob Hennigan, Michael Winger and now Troy Weaver, have all made the leap to GM positions over this time period.
Over the last ten years, Sam Presti has been excellent at identifying front office talent and developing these people into rounded, well-regarded basketball executives. The loss of Troy Weaver will hurt the Thunder in the short-term but I have confidence that Presti will be able to identify a person who is capable of making the next step in their development.
Weaver has been due for a GM job for such a long time, this appointment in Detroit has been long overdue. I would like to congratulate Troy Weaver on his new job and wish him all the best for the future. I am certain that he will do a good job.