'I love bigs': Pistons GM Troy Weaver's bevy of big men made him centers of attention
When free agency started, the Pistons made some moves to improve their frontcourt, adding Mason Plumlee and Jahlil Okafor pretty quickly.
Then it was Dewayne Dedmon. And Tony Bradley. That’s in addition to using one of their first-round picks on Isaiah Stewart. They also were looking to retain Christian Wood, which made the situation more concerning.
The head-scratching started quickly, with many wondering what the Pistons were going to do with so many centers.
General manager Troy Weaver cleared the backlog by waiving Dedmon, trading Bradley and then Wood went to the Houston Rockets for a bigger contract. Gathering as many big men as he could showed his affinity for rebounding and its importance in the modern game.
“Let the record show. I know there was a lot about we were collecting a lot of centers — absolutely!” Weaver said Thursday via teleconference. “I love bigs. People say they want the opposite and guards want to be bigs and bigs want to be guards. I love big guys.
“I believe that's the way you win, by controlling the backboards. It's held true. I've never seen a team win a championship without controlling the backboard.”
The steady stream of jokes ribbing Weaver and the Pistons for seemingly cornering the market on centers was one of the lighthearted moments of free agency:
Weaver had a response for all the jokers and naysayers.
“I welcome all the center jokes — because I do love centers. The last time I checked, the two teams that were good here had bigs, whether it was Buddha (James Edwards), (Rick) Mahorn, (Bill) Laimbeer, Ben Wallace to (Mehmet) Okur to Rasheed Wallace. They had a lot of bigs and guess what — we're going to have some big as well. We're so excited to bring these two guys in.”