Detroit Pistons: Troy Weaver is at it again this time in Free Agency

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver is at it again.  Make sure you pour yourself another cup of coffee; the free-agent signings are coming in fast, folks.

So, quick question.  How many centers are too many?  Ok, another question. How many backup centers are too many?  The Detroit Pistons opened the bargaining period of free agency with a bang Friday evening, agreeing verbally with an abundance of free agents big-men hoping to bolster their frontcourt.

It’s crazy to imagine a professional sports team being completely overhauled in a 72-hour span, but that is exactly what newly appointed Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver has done.  Many franchises receive a facelift here and there, maybe get some botox injections, but Weaver has decided this Pistons roster was in dire need of open-heart surgery.

On Wednesday evening Weaver orchestrated many deals and added plenty of draft capital.  The Pistons went from having one pick in the first round and none in the second to three first-round choices and a high selection in the second.  Weaver’s mind-set is clear; tear this thing down, and let’s start pouring a new foundation.

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The Pistons are clearly building from the ground up, it may take time, but similar to the Detroit Red Wings, it’s the end result that matters, not the here and now.  Weaver is clearly focused on building a youthful core of young, cheap, talented players through the draft and adding some placemats through free agency to go with them in the meantime.

The first move of many in free agency came shortly after teams were permitted to make verbal negotiations Friday.  Weaver landed veteran center Mason Plumlee who recently played for the Denver Nuggets.  The backup center averaged a mere 17 minutes per night, scoring 7.2 points and pulling down 3.5 rebounds per game.

Shortly thereafter, Weaver landed yet another center in Jahlil Okafor formally of the New Orleans Pelicans on a two-year deal.  I like Okafor’s upside.  The soon to be 25-year old Duke product and the former third overall pick of the Philadelphia 76ers does bring some craftiness to the frontcourt.

Over the last two seasons, Okafor averaged just over eight points per game playing in under 16-minutes.  In his rookie season, he averaged over 17 points per game in 30 minutes of work.  He’s been a fairly consistent professional, but keep in mind; he’s still a backup center in NBA terms.  In Detroit, Okafor may have more opportunities to produce, playing in more of a rotational role rather than a straight backup.

The Detroit Pistons currently have five centers rostered after adding Plumlee and Okafor to Tony Bradley, Dewayne Dedmon, and rookie draft pick Isaiah Stewart.  It signaled the end for Christian Wood and the Pistons, and it’s a shame because he proved his worth down the stretch last season after the organization cleared the way for him to earn more minutes following the move that sent Andre Drummond to Cleveland.  Per Adrian Wojnarowski, Wood is signing a three-year deal worth $41-million with the Rockets; it’s expected to be a sign and trade with the Pistons.

Per Keith Smith, Detroit is expected to cut Dedmon along with a couple of others to free up the proper cap space needed to finalize the rest of these deals.

Just when you thought Weaver was finished for the night, his pen still had a few droplets of ink left in it.  The Pistons opted to bring back a Detroiter, former Kansas forward Josh Jackson.  Jackson another former lottery pick had been originally selected by the Phoenix Suns fourth overall in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Jackson’s just 23-years old and has averaged just shy of 12 points per game, along with 4.3 boards, and 1.9 assists per game over his short three-year career.  Jackson is a career 70% free throw shooter and averages about 30% from three.

Oh, it’s not over yet.

The Detroit Pistons also added free agent Jerami Grant a forward with ties to Weaver from his Oklahoma City Thunder days.  Grant an athletic forward spent time in Philadelphia, before landing in OKC for three years prior to spending last season in Denver.

Detroit rewarded Grant with a three-year $60-million deal.  It seems like a high price to pay for a forward that has averaged just 9.3 points per game during his career but there is potential here.  Grant did average 12 points per game last season in Denver making 24 starts and playing just over 26 minutes per game.

Next. Adding Russell Westbrook doesn’t make sense. dark

It’s been another busy night for the Detroit Pistons and their fans.  Oh, and don’t forget to realize one more thing.  The Pistons are going to be bad, real bad for at least a year.