DETROIT – It’s been extremely difficult to keep up with new Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver over the last week, as he makes a flurry of trades, draft picks, free agent signings and salary maneuvers.
Here’s a look at all the moves Weaver has made so far, in chronological order:
NOTE: Trades and free agent signings might not have been made official at the time they were announced.
1. Nov. 16: Bruce Brown trade
The Pistons traded Bruce Brown to the Brooklyn Nets for Dzanan Musa and a 2021 second-round pick -- reportedly the Toronto Raptors’ pick.
Brown was drafted by the Pistons in 2018 and played in 132 games for the team in two seasons.
Musa, 21, has played 49 NBA games, averaging 4.3 points in 10 minutes. He’s a future prospect, coming to the NBA from Bosnia.
2. Nov. 17: Jordan Bone walks
Weaver decided not to extend a qualifying offer to 2019 second-round pick Jordan Bone, making him a free agent.
Bone spent a few games with the Pistons as a two-way player in 2020, scoring 12 points with eight assists and four rebounds in 53 total minutes.
The #Pistons will not extend a qualifying offer to two-way guard Jordan Bone, making him an unrestricted free agent, his agent Colin Bryant tells The Athletic.— James Edwards III (@JLEdwardsIII) November 17, 2020
3. Wednesday: Houston draft pick trade
Before the start of the draft, the Pistons acquired the No. 16 overall pick from the Houston Rockets.
Trevor Ariza, 35, also came to Detroit in the deal, but it’s unclear if he will ever actually play for the Pistons or if they will simply buy out his contract. He’s owed $12,800,000 this year, but only $1,800,000 is guaranteed.
The Pistons gave Houston a future first-round pick that’s heavily protected for the next six seasons. Detroit keeps the pick if it’s in the top 16 each of the next four years. The following two years, Detroit keeps the pick as long as it’s in the top 10. In the seventh year, the Pistons keep the pick if it’s in the top nine.
By year eight, the pick turns into a second-rounder if it hasn’t gone unprotected. That means the Pistons got the No. 16 overall pick and guaranteed the return draft pick will either be worse than No. 16 or won’t be sent to Houston for at least four more years.
4. Wednesday: Sold 2021 second-round pick
Weaver sold a second-round pick to the Rockets for $4.6 million. That pick was from the Los Angeles Lakers, so it will likely be in the 56-60 overall range -- not a huge loss.
It’s possible this was lumped in with the previous move for the first-round pick, but it was announced separately.
5. Wednesday: Drafted Killian Hayes
With the No. 7 pick in the draft, Weaver selected 19-year-old Killian Hayes, a 6-foot-5 point guard from France.
Hayes averaged 12.8 points, 6.2 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game in the EuroCup league. Considered by many to be one of the top talents in the draft, the Pistons were excited to land him outside the top five picks.
Hayes be the most talented passer in the draft class, but his shooting is still a question mark. He made 39% of his 3-point attempts and 90.9% of his free throws in 10 EuroCup games, but hasn’t had as much success in larger sample sizes.
At the worst, the Pistons got a solid two-way player with a high ceiling and room to grow.
6. Wednesday: Drafted Isaiah Stewart
Weaver’s second pick was a bit of a surprise, as he went with undersized Washington center Isaiah Stewart.
The 6-foot-9 freshman was an absolute beast for the Huskies his only college season, scoring 17 points per game while averaging 8.8 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and shooting 57% from the field.
He’s not much of a threat away from the basket, but Stewart is a hard-working player inside, an elite rebounder and a reliable finisher. He will help solidify a thin front court for the Pistons right away.
7. Wednesday: Luke Kennard trade
NOTE: It was later revealed that this trade and the Bruce Brown trade were actually one big trade, but they were announced separately.
Weaver acquired a third first-round pick for the Pistons just moments after making his second selection.
The Pistons joined the Clippers and Nets as part of the three-team trade that sent Landry Shamet from Los Angeles to Brooklyn.
Weaver shipped Luke Kennard, the team’s first-round pick in 2017, and Justin Patton to the Clippers in exchange for the No. 19 overall pick in the draft and Jaylen Hands.
The Pistons also traded four second-round picks -- Portland’s 2023 second-round pick that they had previously acquired, as well as their own second-rounders from 2024, 2025 and 2026.
Most likely, the Pistons would have had Kennard for this season, when they won’t be contenders either way, only to see him walk away before 2021-2022.
This allowed the Pistons to select a first-round player who will be under their control for at least four years -- a much more realistic timeline for the team to make a run.
Detroit also took on the contract of Rodney McGruder in the deal. He’ll make an even $5,000,000 this season and $5,370,000 next season.
McGruder averaged 3.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and shot 39.8% from the field last season -- the first of his three-year, $15 million contract.
TO RECAP: In the Bruce Brown and Luke Kennard trades, the Pistons swapped the following:
- Gave up: Bruce Brown, Luke Kennard, Justin Patton, Portland’s 2023 second-round pick, Detroit’s second-round picks from 2024, 2025 and 2026
- Received: No. 19 overall pick, Dzanan Musa, Jaylen Hands, Rodney McGruder, Toronto’s 2021 second-round pick, cash considerations
8. Wednesday: Drafted Saddiq Bey
Nobody expected Saddiq Bey to be available at pick No. 19, but there he was, so the Pistons snatched him up.
Bey exploded as a sophomore at Villanova, averaging 16.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.4 assist per game. Most importantly, he shot 47.7% from the field and 45.1% from beyond the arc last season.
With a 6-foot-8 frame, Bey is the type of shooting wing the Pistons needed to add after drafting questionable shooters with two prior picks. Altogether, the three provide a nice foundation as Weaver rebuilds the roster.
9. Wednesday: Trade for second-round pick
Weaver’s final trade of draft night was to trade back into the second round, where the Pistons originally did not own a selection.
He traded “future considerations” to the Utah Jazz in exchange for the No. 38 overall pick and Tony Bradley, another contract that a trade partner simply wanted to remove from the books.
Bradley was the 28th overall pick of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2017 and averaged 4.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and shot 66.7% from the floor for the Jazz last season. He played in 58 games, averaging 11.4 minutes.
The 22-year-old will make $3,542,060 this season after the Jazz exercised his team option in October.
10. Wednesday: Drafted Saben Lee
With that pick, the Pistons went completely off the beaten path, selecting Vanderbilt guard Saben Lee despite bigger names -- including Michigan State’s Cassius WInston -- still on the board.
Lee’s performance this year was undeniably impressive, though, as he shot 48.3% from the field and averaged 18.6 points and 4.2 assists per game for the Commodores.
The scouting report on Lee is speed, quickness and a desire to get to the basket. He’s not a great shooter, but makes up for it by driving.
Behind Hayes, Lee provides immediate insurance and depth at the point guard position.
11. Thursday: Dewayne Dedmon trade
Weaver’s only major move Thursday was to send Khyri Thomas and Tony Snell to the Atlanta Hawks for Dewayne Dedmon.
Dedmon, 31, is a center who averaged 8.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game last season. He is guaranteed $13.33 million this season and $1 million next season.
12. Thursday: Let Thon Maker walk
Weaver decided not to extend a qualifying offer to Thon Maker, allowing him to become a free agent.
13. Friday: Mason Plumlee signing
Less than an hour after free agent negotiations officially began, Weaver signed Mason Plumlee to a three-year, $25 million deal.
Plumlee, 30, averaged 7.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 17.3 minutes per game for the Denver Nuggets last season.
It seems like a bit of an expensive price for Plumlee -- likely a backup center with no outside game -- but Weaver was apparently willing to go a bit further to get him to come to the rebuilding Pistons.
14. Friday: Jahlil Okafor signing
Moments after the Plumlee signing was announced, the Pistons also apparently reached a deal with center Jahlil Okafor.
This reported contract is for two years and the veteran minimum, so it’s less of a financial commitment for the Pistons, and they get a 24-year-old with some upside.
Okafor averaged 8.1 points and 4.2 rebounds per game for the New Orleans Pelicans last season. He was the No. 3 overall pick in 2015.
15. Friday: Josh Jackson signing
Josh Jackson is exactly the type of player the Pistons should be targeting in this rebuilding phase, so this was a nice move by Weaver.
He is reportedly signing a two-year deal, though the dollar amount hasn’t been revealed. It’s likely an inexpensive gamble for the Pistons.
Jackson is a Detroit native who once was selected No. 4 overall in 2017 out of Kansas.
He averaged 9 points per game on 44% shooting last season for the Memphis Grizzlies.
16. Friday: Jerami Grant signing
Up to this point, most of Weaver’s moves had been looking years down the road, but then he reportedly signed Jerami Grant to a lucrative three-year, $60 deal.
Grant is 26 years old and a very solid player. He averaged 12 points per game for the Nuggets last season while shooting 47.8% from the floor and 38.9% from beyond the arc.
He reportedly got a similar offer to stay in Denver, but he wanted a bigger offensive role, so agreed to join the Pistons.
On Sunday, the team announced Grant was technically acquired in a sign-and-trade with the Nuggets for cash considerations. The Pistons also received the rights to Nikola Radicevic in the deal.
17. Friday: Christian Wood sign-and-trade
Last year’s rising star, Christian Wood has reportedly agreed to join the Rockets for $41 million over three years.
According to all the top NBA insiders, Wood is joining the Rockets via a sign-and-trade with the Pistons, possibly one that’s merged in some way with the trade for Ariza and the No. 16 overall pick.
We’ll see how the specifics play out, but it appears Wood will be moving on to Houston.
The Pistons might be getting an additional second-round pick and stricter protection in this deal, too, according to James Edwards III, of The Athletic.
TO RECAP: If the the Wood sign-and-trade and the trade for Ariza and the No. 16 overall pick are combined, the Pistons swapped the following:
- Gave up: Christian Wood, future first-round pick (heavy protections), Lakers’ 2021 second-round pick
- Received: No. 16 overall, Trevor Ariza, a second round pick, $4.6 million
18. Saturday: Delon Wright trade
Weaver kept dealing beyond 1 a.m. Monday, sending Ariza to to Oklahoma City as part of a three-team trade that brings Delon Wright to Detroit.
Wright, a point guard, is 28 years old and averaged 6.9 points, 3.3 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game last season.
He is a career 45% shooter, including 34.2% from three. He was the 20th overall pick in the 2015 draft out of Utah.
19. Sunday: Zhaire Smith trade
The Pistons flipped Bradley in a one-for-one move with the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday, bringing in 21-year-old guard Zhaire Smith.
Bradley wasn’t part of the team’s future, and Weaver signed multiple centers in free agency, so the move makes sense for now and later.
Smith was the No. 16 overall pick in the 2018 draft out of Texas Tech, but he hasn’t gotten much run in his first two seasons. He appeared in just 13 games total, averaging 3.7 points in 11 minutes per game, shooting 37.8%.
His $3,204,600 option has already been exercised for this season, and the Pistons have a $4,915,856 team option for 2021-2022.
20. Monday: Anthony Lamb signing
The Pistons and undrafted free agent Anthony Lamb reportedly agreed to a deal.
Lamb spent four seasons at Vermont, averaging 16.4 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. He shot 33.6% from 3-point range and 47.6% overall during his college career.
It’s unclear what kind of deal Lamb has signed or whether he’ll have a realistic shot to make the 15-man roster.
21. Tuesday: Dewayne Dedmon waived
The Pistons waived Dedmon, as expected. He is owed $14.3 million over the next two seasons, so it’s possible the Pistons stretch his salary.
If Dedmon’s total guaranteed salary is stretched out to five years, the Pistons would waive him, then pay him $2.9 million per year for five years. That means it would be a cap hit of $2.9 million each of the next five seasons, instead of $13.3 million this year and $1 million next year.
22. Tuesday: Wayne Ellington signing
Remember Wayne Ellington? He averaged 12 points per game over 28 games with Detroit during the 2018-2019 season after being waived midway through the year by the Phoenix Suns.
The Pistons signed Ellington to a one-year, $2.6 million deal for the 2020-2021 season. He’ll turn 33 years old at the end of the month.
Last season, Ellington averaged 5.1 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists while playing 15.5 minutes per game in 36 games with the New York Knicks.
23. Future: Waiving and stretching?
Weaver is reportedly considering waiving and stretching McGruder and Smith, as well as Dedmon -- meaning the Pistons would pay them less money per year for more years, but they wouldn’t actually be on the team.
If the Pistons extrapolate the total money owed to those players over more years, the cap hit will be less severe this season, but linger for longer.
McGruder is owed $10.37 over that same span.
This would make room in the budget for Plumlee and Grant, room on the roster for all the new signees and draftees, and make the team more competitive in 2020-2021.
The Pistons are expected to waive and stretch recent acquisition Zhaire Smith following trade for Tony Bradley, sources say— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) November 23, 2020