The dust has settled from the NBA Trade Deadline, and, man, there was some dust.
The flurry of trades that took over Twitter in the final couple of hours was fast and furious, and even before then, we saw Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving both get traded to the Western Conference.
The Pistons weren’t expected to make any big splashes, but they did end up making a medium splash.
Pistons general manager Troy Weaver traded away forward Saddiq Bey, one of his 2020 first round picks, to the Hawks, in a four-team trade that brings Golden State Warriors center James Wiseman to Detroit.
Wiseman was the No. 2 pick in that 2020 draft, and Weaver has previously spoken about his high regard for him.
It’s a bummer to see Saddiq Bey traded, though. Bey over-performed for much of his Pistons tenure. He set franchise three-point records, had a 50-point game, and was the most durable of the young guys. He was a good dude, and he’ll be missed in Detroit.
The problem for Bey was consistency -- and defense. It’s what sent him to the bench earlier this season. There’s no doubt he can score, but his two-way ability was lacking.
As for Wiseman, it’s hard to not see him as another lost basketball soul being rescued by Troy Weaver, who had a similar move at last year’s deadline, acquiring Marvin Bagley III from the Kings.
Wiseman had been hampered by injuries and limited playing time for the championship-contending Warriors, but he’ll definitely see more playing time in Detroit. He’s only played in 60 games since entering the league -- he’s only 21.
But in a backcourt dominated league, the Pistons front office seems to be obsessed with the frontcourt. Weaver talked about why in an interview with 97.1 The Ticket on Friday morning:
“The top four teams in the East, Boston, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Cleveland, if we want a chance to compete in the East, look at those teams,” Weaver told the sports radio station. “They’re all top 12 defense and they’re all big. We’ve played all those teams and we’ve been at a disadvantage size wise. If we can’t rebound and we can’t play at the rim, we don’t have a chance. And adding this guy to Bagley and Stewart and Duren really gives us a chance.”
Weaver added that he believes Wiseman has a lot more to show and didn’t get the time after being drafted by a championship team.
“I kind of liken the trade to when Jermaine O’Neal got traded from Portland to Indiana. Didn’t play much in Portland at all, came to Indiana and had a chance to get on the floor and show himself and the rest was history. Hopefully Wiseman can get on the floor and show who he is and grow with our young core and pay dividends for us.”
The Pistons have a lot of young guys mixing in right now -- and that’s without Cade Cunningham, who’s out for the rest of the season after having shin surgery.
If you break down the roster right now, it’s hard to see more than a handful of guys who could be part of a future contending team, and we’re nearing the end of Troy Weaver’s third season.
Outside of Cunningham, Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren, who else is really part of the future? Isaiah Stewart and Killian Hayes are question marks. Isaiah Livers could be a guy off the bench. How long will Bojan Bogdanović stick around?
Next season will be the fourth season under Troy Weaver, and it’s hard to see a huge plan coming together, other than drafting a ton of guys and trading for a ton of frontcourt players.
They’ll add another high lottery pick to next year’s roster, but that’s no guarantee. They’ll have a ton of cap space, but it’ll be hard to get a substantial player here without a trade. There’s a lot of work left to do.