Troy Weaver Rumors

The Thunder have been in this position before. For the fourth time in their 12 seasons, the Thunder have lost an assistant general manager to another team. It’s a testament to the sharp minds general manager Sam Presti has surrounded himself with in Oklahoma City. This time is a little different. Troy Weaver was different, from his eye for talent (documented by The Athletic’s James Edwards III) to his truth-telling style, from his storytelling to his trash-talking.
Weaver — the Thunder’s vice president of basketball operations for the last seven seasons — bridged the gap between executive and player better than any high-ranking front-office member in the Thunder’s history. It’s why so many players who’ve come through Oklahoma City were overjoyed when Weaver was named the general manager of the Detroit Pistons on June 18. When Thunder guard Chris Paul picked up his phone and saw Weaver was hired in Detroit, he called and congratulated him. Even before Weaver was hired — when there were reports Weaver was in the running for the Detroit GM job — Paul called then, too.
Stefanski and his staff were able to keep the Pistons afloat, navigating through the salary cap and staying away from the luxury tax. They also added a couple of young pieces in the draft and through shrewd trades to buoy their future hopes. “Ed has come in and done a great job of stabilizing our front office and cleaning some things up,” team owner Tom Gores said this week. “We just felt it was time to go big or go home. Let’s just go get the best. We have a great coach ready to go. Dwane (Casey) and Troy have a great chemistry that they’ve built — that was important to me.”
When Gores targeted Weaver, it was with the understanding that he would fit within the existing structure and utilize the experience and feedback from the key stakeholders. Weaver brings the eye for talent, but working with the other key pieces helps to solidify everything and ensure everyone is going in the same direction. “There’ll be a nice divide-and-conquer coming in and again that’s why I trust Troy to come in as someone smart enough to leverage resources,” Gores said. “At a high level, we’ll work all this out in the detail. Really, Troy, and Ed and Dwane will work on a day-to-day basis with each other, and Troy will have normal — and even higher than normal — GM responsibilities and he’s got a lot to learn. He’s going to get on the ground and know each player well and connect with (Casey) and so on and then as it bubbles up to ownership, Arn and I — if there’s big decisions that need to be made — we’ll all gather.”
With Weaver in place, the Pistons could have a more traditional structure for the first time since 2018, with plenty of input from the other involved parties. It meant making room for Weaver’s expertise and agreeing to work collaboratively to make it work. “They all had reasons not to like this, because we’re bringing in a very powerful person in Troy,” Gores said. “Troy’s got a lot of responsibility and power in this team. I’m just really happy that he’s going to leverage all the resources, but at the end of the day, I think Troy will work with Ed on a day-to-day basis and coach, and as things bubble up that need Arn and I, obviously we’ll, you know, we’ll step in there.”
To wit: Weaver was the only candidate to interview with the Pistons’ owner, Tom Gores, according to a person familiar with the search who was not authorized to discuss it publicly. Beyond maximizing the Pistons’ forthcoming high draft pick and some newfound financial flexibility after the February moves to jettison Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson, Weaver’s immediate challenges include learning his new terrain and meshing with the various voices in Detroit after spending the last 12 seasons in Oklahoma City. Gores leans heavily on Arn Tellem, the longtime power agent who serves as Detroit’s chairman, and Ed Stefanski, who will remain with the Pistons in his position as a senior adviser to Gores.
To wit: Weaver was the only candidate to interview with the Pistons’ owner, Tom Gores, according to a person familiar with the search who was not authorized to discuss it publicly. Beyond maximizing the Pistons’ forthcoming high draft pick and some newfound financial flexibility after the February moves to jettison Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson, Weaver’s immediate challenges include learning his new terrain and meshing with the various voices in Detroit after spending the last 12 seasons in Oklahoma City. Gores leans heavily on Arn Tellem, the longtime power agent who serves as Detroit’s chairman, and Ed Stefanski, who will remain with the Pistons in his position as a senior adviser to Gores.
“You have two veteran big-time players that are looking to restore their careers: Blake Griffin, who is a perennial All-Star, and Derrick Rose. Both guys have had some injury history and they’re looking forward to building their careers back,” Weaver said. “That stood out and we’re excited to get them healthy and help us moving forward. “The second piece is the young players on the roster: Sekou (Doumbouya), (Luke) Kennard, Bruce Brown and Svi (Mykhailiuk) and (Christian) Wood. We feel like we have a good mixture of young guys with those two staples to start there.”
Weaver, Gores, Casey, Stefanski and Pistons vice chairman Arn Tellem were all on the video conference Monday. “I always recognized Troy as one of the top talent evaluators – you just look at the finished products in OKC, he had a big part of doing that. Not only that, he’s a man of his word,” Casey said. “He’s genuine, he’s real, and I will say this, and in today’s time, with all the unrest, here’s an opportunity for an African American man to be named to this position, and I’m going to credit Tom and Arn and Ed for opening up the door for the opportunity for him to step in.”
Storyline: Pistons Front Office
During the league’s shutdown the Chicago Bulls hired Marc Eversley and the Detroit Pistons hired Troy Weaver, both African American, under the title of general manager. “The NBA has been at the forefront in diversity in sports. It doesn’t mean we can’t move further,” Embry said. “When it comes to hiring, those things go in cycles. But the NBA always looks to improve and we will still have the incentive to continue doing that.”