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Jerami Grant brings it at both ends as Weaver adds a player Pistons greats will appreciate

When Troy Weaver said he wanted to field a team that Pistons from the franchise’s two championship eras would recognize and appreciate, he was offering clues to the type of players he would pursue when the handcuffs were off and he had a chance to remake the roster.

The handcuffs came off last week and Weaver crammed more activity into a week than some front offices manage over their tenure. Only four players from last season, as the roster now stands, appear to be coming back – but stay tuned. They’re not ready to take the team picture quite yet.

Weaver’s players aren’t all coming from a cookie cutter – the Bad Boys featured the brawn of Mahorn and Laimbeer and the panache of Thomas and Dumars, after all – but share a toughness, selflessness and commitment to playing at both ends of the floor.

The biggest splash Weaver made in free agency comes in the form of Jerami Grant, though technically his acquisition that became official Sunday came via a sign-and-trade deal with Denver. Grant rose to prominence during the Orlando bubble for his ability to defend everyone from Donovan Mitchell to Kawhi Leonard to LeBron James to Anthony Davis.

Dwane Casey surely will appreciate that, but also Grant’s burgeoning offensive game. Over the last two seasons, Grant – still just 26 – has not only shown vast improvement as a 3-point shooter, hitting close to 40 percent each season, but taken an increasing number of his shots from the arc, almost 40 percent of all his shots last season.

He’s played more power forward than anywhere else, but if Blake Griffin is healthy and logging his usual 30-plus minutes Grant’s defensive versatility gives Casey the latitude to use him wherever needed – small forward or perhaps center, even, against small-ball lineups.

Go back to draft night when Weaver plucked 6-foot-5 French teen Killian Hayes and said one of the areas the rookie would be able to compete and help immediately was on defense given Hayes’ mindset, size and physicality.

There are other acquisitions in the pipeline that – combined with Hayes and Grant – are going to give Casey building blocks for the type of switchable, suffocating defense he relishes unleashing. At 6-foot-8 with a preposterous 7-foot-3 wingspan, Grant is the type of player the old Bad Boys and the more recent Goin’ to Work Pistons will relish watching. Pistons fans who cherish those days, too.