Detroit Pistons: Are You Still Aboard The Rebuild?


How has the Detroit Pistons season affected your belief in the rebuild? I’m sure having the NBA’s worst record (16-57), while sporting the third worst defensive rating won’t help. But are you able to see any aspects of the “restore”, the team’s branded rebuild, forming a foundation the future can stand on?

Supporters of the team have long cried for a proper rebuild that saw things stripped to the studs. No more win now, or restock on the fly. No more maxing out cap space and roster flexibility just to be unceremoniously bounced from the playoffs. In fact the Pistons last three trips to the postseason have ended in first round sweeps, with no hope for more.

Mattress leg Blake Griffin gave all he could including the best season of his career and they got swept.

Stanley Johnson was “inside” Lebron James’ head, and they still got swept.

Andre Drummond made All-NBA Third Team, and they still got swept. I could go on, but I trust you get the point.

And when they weren’t getting swept, they were losing a lot with no real hope for the future. So what makes this era of losing any better?

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Troy Weaver

The Pistons usual way of going about business clearly has a limit on how successful it will be. And this is where Troy Weaver enters the chat as the most important person to the organizations’ vision.

The losses and injuries have hurt what could have rewarded fans this year, but Weaver still believes in the teams future. He stated “what’s happening in spite of the record I’m really pleased,” when questioned about his belief in the rebuild by Rod Beard of the Detroit News.

“We’ve never talked about wins and losses, and we wont right now,” Weaver said. “Of course everybody wants to look at your record but we’re more trusting in doing the right things every day, building it the right way, laying the right foundation for this restore. And we’re doing it.”

Weaver truly believes the losses today will be gold tomorrow because of the “greatness” the Detroit Pistons have attained before. And that following that blueprint, no matter how painful in the beginning, greatness will be restored. Something he says other teams aren’t able to boast as their history isn’t as prodigious.

“No slight to what I’m about to say but the Timberwolves can’t restore, they don’t have three championships,” Weaver proudly exclaimed. The Atlanta Hawks can’t restore, but the Detroit Pistons can and we want to restore the greatness back into the franchise.”

Weaver believes that goal is achieved thru building the foundation, sticking to organizational philosophies and being true to plan.

The Detroit Pistons Foundation

The Players

That plan and true foundation began when the Pistons selected Cade Cunningham number one overall in the 2021 NBA draft. The year prior Troy Weaver referred to his first draft class as the “Core-4”, which consisted of Killian Hayes, Isaiah Stewart, Saddiq Bey and Saben Lee.

But Weaver knew that was just the prep work and more was needed before work the restore could truly commence. “You look at our team, he’s really a human connector on the floor, off the floor,” said Weaver.

Before season ending surgery Cunningham was averaging 19.9 points, six rebound and six assists per game, which included a three-game stretch of over 25 points, seven rebounds and seven assist. He looked every bit the straw that stirs the drink, and an unquestioned star before shutting it down.

And a year after adding Cade, Weaver drafted Jaden Ivey and acquired Jalen Duren. A solid rotation of young players many believe have star potential. And players like Isaiah Stewart, James Wiseman, Isaiah Livers and Killian Hayes are primed to offer support winning teams need from rotation players. This isn’t to put a cap on players like Stewart and Wiseman, who offer starter potential regardless of next seasons rotation.

The foundation will also include another high draft pick and whatever Weaver decides to utilize $55+ million in cap space for.

The Coach

And Troy Weaver is proud of how the team is growing and developing. “These guys have been steady, they do their jobs every day and that is who coach Casey is.” Weaver is a big supporter of coach Dwane Casey and believes he has helped lay the right foundation, despite the lack of wins.

“People will say you might want to have a different coach,” Weaver said. “But I absolutely believe and trust that we have the best coach in the world for this rebuild.”

Weaver’s Promise

Boban Bogdanovic stated re-signing in Detroit due to the future Weaver promised was on the way, in an interview with HoopsHype. That the impending free agency would bring real change and steps forward by next season.

“Having conversations with the club, Troy (Weaver), and the owners, they assured me that we’re going to be great next year,” Bogdanovic told HoopsHype. “We have a lot of cap space to sign great players. We’re going to have a high pick again, so that’s going to help us a lot. We have a great young group of guys.”

Weaver is serious about getting the ship righted, but not at anyone’s pace but how the prior blueprints dictate. The Bad Boys and Going To Work Pistons is the design, and he believes the payoff will be soon.

“We’ll show the city and show our fans what we’re all about,” Weaver said.”We want to restore the greatness back into the franchise. And we’re trying to be the the third iteration of greatness here in Detroit.”

What’s Next for the Detroit Pistons

Jaden Ivey and the Detroit Pistons play the Toronto Raptors on the road, Friday, March 24th at 7:30 PM.

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