Detroit Pistons: 2021 NBA Draft Lottery win caps off perfect tank job

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
1 of 3
Detroit Pistons, Hamidou Diallo
(Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

On Tuesday, something amazing happened: a Detroit sports team got lucky as the Detroit Pistons moved up in the lottery for the first time in franchise history, securing the first overall pick. While there is still time for things to change, the pick is expected to be Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham or perhaps Jalen Green out of the G-league.

Regardless of the selection, the top pick will join an exciting core Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart, and Olympian Jerami Grant. From where the Pistons were a year ago, the future Troy Weaver is building looks incredibly bright. With the first overall pick coming up, there’s plenty of players who benefit from this.

Last June, the Pistons hired Troy Weaver, the Oklahoma City Thunder assistant GM, who was part of the front office that drafted MVPs James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Russell Westbrook. Weaver was inhering a mediocre, aging team with no young building blocks or real trade assets.

Detroit Pistons GM Troy Weaver was able to take this team and make them the most exciting team in Detroit in almost one year.

It was almost a year on the dot, and Weaver was able to complete a full-scale turnaround. It was impressive to watch. Here is how Weaver was able to take that Pistons team and do it:

Free Agency/Trades

The biggest coup of all of free agency was Detroit signing Jerami Grant to a three-year, 60 million dollar contract. The league-wide consensus was Grant was an excellent role player ideally suited for a fourth or fifth option on offense, but Weaver saw more, and boy was he right. Grant instantly took over as the top dog for the Pistons, scoring 22 points a game on good efficiency. He should be even better next season as he adjusts to being the top option and as the rest of the team can take some pressure off him.

Another savvy signing was the addition of Frank Jackson on a two-way deal. Jackson entered the season as a replacement-level point guard who the Thunder just cut. He struggled initially with the Pistons, but after a switch to an off-ball role, everything clicked. He became one of the best scorers on the team and an exciting sixth man.

After the All-Star break, he scored 12 PPG on 40.1 % shooting from three. He will be a restricted free agent this year, but the Pistons should definitely be interested in resigning him as he provides shooting that the Pistons lack.

Another smart acquisition was the trade of Svi Mykhailiuk and a second-round pick for Hamidou Diallo. Diallo is a freak athlete who excels at driving and finishing at the rim. He also is a smart passer who makes the right pass when the defense collapses on him.

Diallo is also a good defender with the upside to be great due to his great athleticism. Diallo also will need to improve as a shooter to reach his potential. If he can, there is nothing preventing him from being a good starter on a playoff team.

Diallo is another restricted free agent who the Pistons will try to retain, but it may be more difficult than Jackson. Diallo should get looks from other teams with his current skill and potential upside.