Pistons Rumors: Thunder’s Troy Weaver Emerges as Top Choice for GM Job

AUBURN HILLS, MI - MARCH 17: A shot of the Detroit Pistons logo on the court prior to the game between the Detroit Pistons and the Toronto Raptors at the Palace of Auburn Hills on March 17, 2017 in Auburn Hills, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) Local Caption

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The Detroit Pistons are zeroing in on Oklahoma City Thunder vice president of basketball operations Troy Weaver as they continue their search for a general manager, according to the New York TimesMarc Stein.

Stein reported the Pistons are “actively working to complete a deal to hire Weaver.”

The Washington Wizards interviewed Weaver for their GM vacancy in May 2019. He turned down the opportunity to go through a second round of interviews earlier this spring with the Chicago Bulls, who were looking for a head of basketball operations.

Marc J. Spears @MarcJSpearsESPN

Troy Weaver declined opportunity to be a part of 2nd round of Bulls interviews for its head of basketball operations because he felt it was a token offer, source said. He was told by someone from Bulls they were expected to hire Karnisovas by the time his interview was offered. https://t.co/joJ0Mlbqfs

In a 2017 interview with The Oklahoman‘s Brett Dawson, Weaver explained he wasn’t going to leave Oklahoma City without feeling confident about the direction of his next franchise.

More often than not, you’re going [to a new job] because they haven’t had success,” he said. “You want to feel good that you’re going into a situation where your vision matches up with the ownership and the city’s vision for success.”

Weaver’s first comment applies to the Pistons for the most part. Detroit finished the 2019-20 season with the third-worst record in the Eastern Conference (20-46), and it’s likely headed for a lengthy rebuild.

We were always discussing that we’re going to have to probably rebuild because we’re in the middle of the pack and to me that’s not the place we want to be and where fans want to be,” Pistons senior adviser Ed Stefanski told reporters in February.

Stefanski said that after the Pistons traded Andre Drummond for pennies on the dollar. The return from that move (Brandon Knight, John Henson and a 2023 second-round pick) showed Detroit was effectively waving the white flag in terms of a playoff push for the next few years.

From that perspective, Weaver would be a great fit.

Because they don’t play in a favorable market, the Thunder are largely left to build through the draft and trades, much like the Pistons.

Since May 2008, Weaver has worked alongside Sam Presti as Oklahoma City assembled a roster that included three future MVPs (Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden), reshuffled after Durant’s departure with the acquisition of Paul George and then tore it all down while stockpiling draft picks.

Assuming he lands in the Motor City, Weaver would have a daunting task in front of him. Blake Griffin underwent knee surgery in January, and the Pistons appear to have little in the way of young foundational pieces around whom they can build.

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