In Pistons' quartet of NBA draft picks, GM Troy Weaver hopes he has new 'core 4'
The Pistons started draft day with one pick, but by the end of the first round, they ended up with three, with a series of trades that was just one piece of their dramatic roster reshaping.
In their draft preparation, the Pistons saw several players they thought would be good fits for their roster. In short order, they moved to add more picks in the draft, getting No. 16 (Isaiah Stewart) from the Houston Rockets and No. 19 (Saddiq Bey) from the Brooklyn Nets to add to their rookie class. With another trade, they added guard Saben Lee in the second round.
Weaver said before the draft that the Pistons would be aggressive and with the go-ahead from team owner Tom Gores, they executed the plan.
“We really liked the draft. We liked the players that were in it and we just felt there were quality young men that could help continue to build our program, we were aggressive,” Weaver said. “We were aggressive trying to acquire picks and we were able to do so. Tom gave us his blessing.
“It was just a tremendous class, with high-character DNA guys that we wanted to add. So that led us to obtain multiple picks and now we stand with these four young men.”
Part of dismantling and rebuilding the roster was creating the financial certainty that the rookie scale provides. Instead of big free-agent deals, the Pistons have settled on building the core around their rookie class.
With a point guard, forward and center in the first round and another guard in Lee — who likely will be on a two-way contract — they have pieces that fit both on the court and on the cap sheet. He compared getting the four draft picks to the New York Yankees’ construction with Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera in their championship era in the 1990s and 2000s.
“Cost certainty is always the dilemma in a battle. You have to make sure that you vet, but just getting these young men in the building to give us a base with what we already had in the building. We just felt we had to act on this opportunity,” Weaver said. “I'm a huge sports fan and I remember the Yankees built around their Core Four and now we've got these four guys.
“Hopefully, we can look back in time and call this our core four. So, it was very important that we vetted and had these guys connected with the players who were already here, and the players who were joining us.”