NBA

Domino effect: Weaver’s shrewd appeal to Grant opens door to future Pistons possibility

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In a world of clickbait that demands instant analysis with no benefit of context or perspective, bad takes get buried under an avalanche of bad takes. Don’t worry about getting it wrong, because no one will remember next week when there will be more egregious, newer, worse takes to distract.

It was always a bad idea to jump to conclusions about the merits of draft results or the impact on trade, even in an era when listings were simpler. In today’s NBA, where old-fashioned talent-for-talent swaps are the exception, this is sheer madness.

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Jerami Grant’s experience in Detroit is a shining example of the need to evaluate roster changes the same way rosters are constructed today. Evaluating a single transaction on its own merits can miss the mark as badly as trying to extrapolate what a puzzle will look like by looking only at its bottom row.

Remember the reaction when Grant signed with the Pistons for three years and $60 million, leaving a conference runner-up on the way up in the process? Critics, the predominant class, didn’t get it from Grant’s perspective – especially when it was confirmed that Denver was offering the same terms – and they really didn’t get it from the Pistons’ perspective. .

It was a rebuilding team led by a newly installed general manager, Troy Weaver, who earlier that week had maneuvered with jaw-dropping audacity to add two more first-round picks, an extraordinarily difficult task. . Why push tokens onto the stack for a perceived roleplayer that didn’t fit the timeline of a rebuild?

Two years later, signing Grant is common sense. Weaver knew the recruits he injected into the pipeline would start out with training wheels and needed someone he trusted to fill critical roles. He needed someone who could salvage doomed property by creating his own shot, someone who had made it through the stages as a second rounder promised nothing, someone who went about his business as a professional , someone who poured into the defensive no matter what happened at the offensive end.

It is still too early to assess this era of Pistons basketball, of course, this Troy Weaver Pistons restoration. But two years later, the clarity of his vision on Grant’s signature became sharp as an old Polaroid print revealing itself.

Because Weaver also got Saddiq Bey right – after trading Luke Kennard to the Clippers to get 19e pick, another major decision – it was now possible to multiply the benefits of getting it right on Grant, moving him to Portland the day before the 2022 draft for a future first-round pick.

At the time, again without the benefit of context or perspective, critics were as skeptical of the comeback – Milwaukee’s 2025 first round – as they were of the original decision to sign Grant. . Weaver didn’t even deposit the check, however, sending it to New York 24 hours later in a cascading trade that ended with the Pistons getting the 13-year-old Charlotte pick used to pick. – “steal” – Jalen Duren at 13 years old.

So the decision to sign Jerami Grant to what very quickly went from an eyebrow-raising deal to a dominoes ‘value contract’ assessment of an ultra-athletic 18-year-old tall man who has the toolbox of a modern NBA starting center.

The lesson is that good decisions create an environment that expands the possibilities for future decision-making – just as bad decisions breed decisions made in panic and bury teams under onerous contracts that require rebuilding phases.

Weaver compiled a long list of good decisions that greatly expanded the possibilities for the Pistons’ future. Jerami Grant’s tenure in Detroit lasted two seasons, but the impact of the decision to sign him could resonate for a generation.

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