All options still on the table for Pistons, Troy Weaver says as clock ticks on NBA draft’s No. 1 pick
It’s entirely possible Troy Weaver isn’t aware of every wacky trade rumor perpetuated over the last month – he’s been otherwise preoccupied, you should know – but of the ones that have come to his attention, here’s his assessment: “It’s all bunk.”
The Pistons, their general manager said Tuesday afternoon, remain open to all possibilities a little more than 48 hours ahead of Thursday night’s NBA draft – with all eyes on the Pistons with the No. 1 pick.
“I said it from the onset: We’re going to have a process and we’re going to turn over every stone,” Weaver said. “That’s what we’re doing. Everybody’s made the pick but us. But we’re going to continue to do our work, turn over every stone and land where we’re going to land. We’re confident in our work and we’re enjoying the process.”
Weaver said that if the Pistons keep the pick, he has not made a firm decision yet as to who’ll hear his name called when NBA commissioner Adam Silver puts the Pistons on the clock shortly after 8 p.m. It’s widely assumed that the first three picks, in some order, will be Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green and Evan Mobley with virtually every credible mock draft tabbing Cunningham, the Oklahoma State freshman, as the No. 1 pick – with most qualifying it by adding the possibility that it might not be the Pistons who ultimately make the selection.
But Weaver says there is zero credibility to anything reported about what the Pistons intend to do.
“I don’t really comment on rumors. I’m just stating, don’t believe anything you read. The rumor mill does nothing for us right now.”
There were pictures of Cunningham with Dwane Casey at Comerica Park last week to confirm his presence for a pre-draft visit and reports that Green and Mobley have followed suit. Weaver reiterated his sentiment from lottery night regarding the quality of the top of the draft.
“I don’t see Shaq or LeBron, but I see some high-level guys. We like all those guys at the top and we’ll continue to do our work. These guys are projecting to be very good players and we’re going to get a very good player to help us continue to restore the Pistons.”
The calculation for Weaver is more about what those players at the top of the draft can become more so than the impact they might make on day one.
“We’re going to make the selection based on restoring the Pistons and having longevity,” he said. “This is a long-term play. It’s not a get-it-right-at-the-moment play. Sustained success is what we’re looking for.”
When the Pistons won the draft lottery on June 22, Weaver said he was thrilled to land the No. 1 pick and added, “not everyone would be.” It was a reference to the inherent pressure to get it right with the top pick and running the risk of making an epic mistake that could be career-defining.
He reiterated his stance on Tuesday: “Getting the number one pick is a tremendous honor for the organization, a tremendous blessing. We get to pick first. But, no, I don’t see any added pressure in getting it right. Whether you’re batting cleanup or hitting first, you’ve got to hit the ball. We’re batting first and we’re going to hit the ball.”
The Pistons also hold three second-round picks at 37, 42 and 52 as a result of trades that sent Bruce Brown, Derrick Rose and Delon Wright elsewhere. It stands as unlikely the Pistons, after carrying five rookies on the roster last season, will have room for more than one or two on their 2021-22 roster. But they’re going to explore all options with those picks, too, Weaver assured.
“Just like the number one, we’re turning over every stone on those and try to maximize our value there,” he said. “Draft night is draft night. It’s just not the first-round pick. It’s just not the number one pick. It’s making sure we handle the second round properly, as well.”