Detroit Pistons’ Troy Weaver prioritizing upside in NBA draft, not scared off by age

Not like final yr’s draft, the Detroit Pistons aren’t answerable for their future. There weren’t any limitations stopping from choosing Cade Cunningham first total.

It is easy while you win the lottery.

It is tougher to draft when you do not have a top-three choose, and it is unattainable to say who shall be obtainable when the Pistons choose fifth total throughout Thursday’s draft.

Any motion forward of the Pistons within the draft order will affect their choice tree. They’re going to spend the subsequent two days wrapping up the final of their pre-draft preparation. On Thursday, they’re going to be ready for no matter occurs.

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“Nonetheless quite a bit left to be performed — conferences and setting the board and going over completely different components of the method that we formulate to provide you with the very best eventualities,” Troy Weaver stated throughout his pre-draft availability on the Pistons Efficiency Heart on Monday . “At 5, you are on the mercy of the board. It isn’t like we get to make the primary selection. At 5, we’re on the mercy of the board. We now have to have a number of eventualities able to go.”

Detroit Pistons normal supervisor Troy Weaver speaks throughout media day at Little Caesars Area in Detroit on Monday, Sept. 27, 2021.

Weaver stated he has between seven and 9 gamers he could be pleased with the Pistons choosing. That listing doubtless contains Purdue guard Jaden Ivey, who confirmed that he labored out for the Pistons and Orlando Magic throughout his pre-draft availability on Monday, or Keegan Murray, who met with the Pistons in Detroit final week. It additionally stays a risk that Jerami Grant could possibly be moved on or earlier than draft night time and land the Pistons a further first-round choose.

Listed here are the important thing takeaways from Weaver’s information convention:

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Pistons prioritizing long-term upside

The Pistons’ rebuild is much from full. Drafting Cunningham final yr gave the franchise a possible celebrity to construct roundhowever they are going to want a minimum of yet another high-level participant subsequent to him, in addition to improved roster depth, to comfortably make the playoffs sooner or later.

Weaver confirmed that the Pistons wish to draft whichever participant has probably the most long-term upside on Thursday.

“We will get the very best participant we see has probably the most potential long-term, however completely in that you’d hope that they might contribute,” he stated. “We wish the very best participant for the lengthy haul.”

Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) brings the ball up court against the Philadelphia 76ers during second quarter action on Thursday, March 31, 2022, at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) brings the ball up courtroom towards the Philadelphia 76ers throughout second quarter motion on Thursday, March 31, 2022, at Little Caesars Area in Detroit.

One may assume the Pistons are all-the-way in on Ivey, some of the explosive guards within the draft and is believed to have a celebrity ceiling. It may additionally suggest that Kentucky wing Shaedon Sharpe, who the Pistons just lately labored out and is within the combine for the fifth choosehas a leg up.

However Weaver additionally famous that he does not purchase into the concept that age can restrict a participant’s ceiling. That is excellent news for Murray, who shall be 22 when his rookie season begins.

“To me, upside is a progress mindset,” Weaver stated. “I do n’t subscribe to, ‘The man is a 23-year-old and he ca n’t develop, he does n’t have upside.’ Or, there’s some guys which might be 19, 18 that restrict themselves. I’ve seen a few younger gamers and I stated ‘it will be some time as a result of he simply does not get it.’ It is simply the psychological side of it and the way the participant approaches issues and the place he is been, how he approaches and what’s been untapped.”

Weaver getting ready for probably chaotic draft

The 2021 draft had a number of surprises within the lottery. The Toronto Raptors picked Scottie Barnes fourth total as a substitute of Jalen Suggs, extensively thought-about to be the fourth-best prospect within the draft. And the San Antonio Spurs took Joshua Primo, projected as a late first-round choose at greatest, with the twelfth choose.

The 2022 draft may even have surprises. The Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder are rumored to have curiosity in Ivey with the second choose, and the Sacramento Kings are a wild card. Will they take Ivey or Murray, or commerce the fourth total choose for rapid assist?

Weaver stated something can occur, and the Pistons will not be caught off guard by any curve balls.

Mar 25, 2022;  Philadelphia, PA, USA;  Purdue Boilermakers guard Jaden Ivey (23) shoots against the St.  Peter's Peacocks in the first half in the semifinals of the East regional of the men's college basketball NCAA Tournament at Wells Fargo Center.  Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 25, 2022; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Purdue Boilermakers guard Jaden Ivey (23) shoots towards the St. Peter’s Peacocks within the first half within the semifinals of the East regional of the boys’s faculty basketball NCAA Match at Wells Fargo Heart. Necessary Credit score: Invoice Streicher-USA TODAY Sports activities

“It’s a must to be ready for that,” Weaver stated. “I keep in mind what number of years in the past, D’Angelo Russell jumped up and went two. That is why I am somewhat agitated on a lot reporting looking for out everyone’s choose proper now, it is ridiculous. No, you have to be As a result of should you do not and you have not performed your work, then somebody drops that you have not performed your work on, you then’re caught. So no, we anticipate something taking place above us. “

Cunningham’s presence ought to ease any match considerations

The Pistons gained the lottery on the proper time. Cunningham was some of the versatile gamers in latest draft historical past, and that versatility was on show final season. He established himself as their greatest all-around playmaker and was equally comfy scoring or dishing it to his teammates. He defends, rebounds and embraced a management function as effectively.

With Cunningham already in tow, the Pistons aren’t involved about drafting a participant who suits him. Cunningham can match alongside most gamers.

“There’s not a participant that we’re taking a look at that we do not see that may match with Cade,” Weavers stated. “Completely. His versatility his lends to whoever we draft having the ability to slot in with him. Drafting him made it simpler in not having to fret a lot about match.”

Contact Omari Sankofa II at osankofa@freepress.com. Comply with him on Twitter @omarisankofa. The Free Press has began a new digital subscription mannequin. Here is how one can acquire entry to our most unique Pistons content material. Learn extra on the Detroit Pistons and join our Pistons publication.

This text initially appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Pistons’ Troy Weaver prioritizing upside in NBA draft, not age

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