Weaver's first draft with Pistons sets the tone: "Attack everything"


Troy Weaver spent his first several months as GM of the Pistons working on the periphery. Then draft night arrived and he jumped straight into the fray.

By the time the night was over, a little before Thursday morning, the Pistons had added three first-round picks and a second-rounder to their young core and charted a new path forward.

For Weaver, this was the plan all along.

"We just wanted to be aggressive and attack the draft," he said. "That’s always going to be our way of doing business when it comes to the draft. Gives us a chance to continue building a foundation and improve the culture."

The Pistons brought Weaver to Detroit specifically for his track record on this night. He has a keen eye for talent, and this is what it will take to fix a franchise that hasn't won a playoff game in 12 years and struggles to move the needle in free agency.

In the span of a couple days, Weaver discarded Bruce Brown and Luke Kennard and added a point guard to build around in Killian Hayes, a center with a point to prove in Isaiah Stewart and a smooth-shooting wing in Saddiq Bey. He acquired the latter two by swinging trades with the Rockets and the Clippers.

Then he swung a third trade early in the second round and wound up with Vanderbilt guard Saben Lee plus a former first-round pick in center Tony Bradley.

When he met with the media late Wednesday night, Weaver could only talk explicitly about Hayes, as he waited for his other moves to become official. He said the 19-year-old Frenchman is like a "a bigger version of (Goran) Dragic."

"Lefty, crafty, can score at all three levels, can see the floor. That would be my early comp for him, just a bigger version. I think he’ll help us right off the bat," Weaver said. "For a young player, he has a defensive mindset that we want to establish here and he can also really see the floor and spread the ball around."

Again, this is why Weaver is here. He helped build -- and then rebuild -- the Thunder into a juggernaut by stockpiling talent through the draft. Time will tell if Hayes, Stewart and Bey become central figures of a similar story in Detroit. But Weaver took his first big swing Wednesday night, and it sounds like he's just getting started.

"We’re going to attack the draft, we’re going to attack free agency, we’re going to attack everything. I said coming in, this was going to be a restoring. The two iterations of the great Pistons teams, that was their mentality. They were aggressive, they were on the attack and we want to follow suit.

"That’s the mantra, and we wanted to set the tone."

Message sent, message received. And the reply from a fanbase estranged by years of aimless losing is, finally, finally a vision, finally a sense of direction, finally a legitimate sense of hope. At the end of a whirlwind night, Weaver was asked if he took a moment to realize everything he had done, to perhaps appreciate the spoils of his hard work.

He paused a moment or two, thought about it, then paused a few moments more.

"You won’t see that ‘til we make the playoffs," he said.