OKC Thunder: Troy Weaver hired as next Pistons GM

OKC Thunder Troy Weaver hired by Detroit Pistons.. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
OKC Thunder Troy Weaver hired by Detroit Pistons.. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Detroit Pistons hire OKC Thunder VP of Basketball Operations Troy Weaver as their new General Manager

Current OKC Thunder Vice President of Basketball Operations is exiting for Motor City. The Detroit Pistons announced this morning they have hired Weaver as their next General Manager.

Having been with the Thunder for the lifetime of the franchise Weaver’s fingerprints are all over the past 12 years. While the Pistons didn’t provide the dollar figure the contract term is for four years. He’ll work with Ed Stefanski, a senior advisor for the Pistons and head coach Dwane Casey.

Although Weaver was considered the front runner he had competition from Nets assistant general manager Jeff Peterson and Mark Hughes the LA Clippers General Manager as TI noted in our recent article.

OKC Thunder loss of Troy Weaver is Pistons gain:

In recent seasons Weaver was on the radar for franchises seeking to bolster their front office so his departure isn’t coming from out of the blue (no pun intended).

Last summer it was a little surprising he didn’t accept the Washington Wizards GM position given he grew up in DC. The OKC Thunder lifer may feel Detroit was a better fit. Or perhaps he was impressed by the fact he was the Pistons’ top candidate. In the case of the Wizards, owner Ted Leonsis first tried unsuccessfully to lure Tim Connelly away from the Nuggets and Weaver was aggressively pursued after Connelly declined the Wizards’ offer.

Sam Presti may want to consider opening a side business teaching other franchises on how to spot front-office talent. A trio of Thunder front office members ascended through Presti’s system. Chronologically they are:

  • Rich Cho became the Blazers GM in the summer of 2010 and is now on the Grizzlies as the VP of Basketball Strategy.
  • Rob Hennigan became the Orlando Magic GM in 2012. When he was released he returned to the Thunder as an Assistant GM in 2017.
  • Michael Winger exited OKC in 2017 becoming the LA Clippers GM

Presti and the Thunder are clearly a template many organizations want to emulate with very good reason. In the 12th year of the franchise’s existence, this year marks their tenth postseason appearance. Then consider the level of talent who has exited either via free agency (Kevin Durant), trade demands (Paul George), financial concerns (James Harden) or trades due to reformulating the roster (Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka). That’s a ton of top talent to lose and remain as competitive as the Thunder has.

While we can debate the success of Cho and Hennigan the same can’t be said for Winger or Weaver. The latter specifically, has a knack for spotting top tier draft talent and negotiating deals (with Presti) that have kept the Thunder relevant.

As per NBA.com, Ed Stefanski and owner Tom Gore raved about Weaver’s vast abilities and prowess.

"“Troy’s basketball knowledge and experience will help this organization in all facets of strategic planning and roster development this coming season and beyond,” said Stefanski.  “He has a good eye for talent, is a great communicator and is team oriented.  I look forward to working with him as we focus on achieving our collective goals.” – Stefanski"

To that end, the Pistons are adding Weaver at an ideal time. Detroit is among the eight clubs not participating in Orlando and ranked 25th when the NBA suspended the season. As we witnessed last summer this won’t guarantee a top-five draft selection, however, their odds greatly improve.

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Given the unusual dynamic of functioning in a pandemic, Weaver won’t have the typical draft process to evaluate talent, but he’s got ample time to work with Stefanski on a plan for the Pistons future.

While the oft-injured Blake Griffin is set to earn $36.8M next season and has a player option in 2021-22 for almost $39M there is room for Weaver to work his magic in Detroit. The priority will be re-signing Christian Wood who had a breakthrough season. Then again, Wood hasn’t seemed overly excited about staying in Detroit.

If Weaver follows his predecessor’s path (Hennigan and Winger) Presti and the Thunder will be among his favorite trade partners. Hey, Wood sure would be a nice addition to OKC and would fit perfectly beside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Ahhh, but that’s an article for another day.

For now, the team at Thunderous Intentions sends our congratulations to Troy Weaver, thank him for 12 years of helping keep the Thunder competitive and wish him every success in Detroit.

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